maanantai 24. elokuuta 2020

Mechanics for my board game

And now something completely different... or at least something that hasn't shown up here in five years. An update to one of my board games, the game tentatively known as Space Game.
Do be warned tough, this post will be a lot of numbers and descriptions to said numbers. In other words, really bland read. Doubly so if you don't know any D&D mechanics, as I will do a lot of comparing to that game.

The game's been in my mind all this time, sometimes on a back burner and other times on an active development, like now.
I've been mulling over the basic mechanics all this time. Taking time off and coming back to see if I still like it, or if it still holds up against the new and shiny mechanic I've just read about. I now am pretty confident this will be the final form of the foundation of the rule set.


The Roll

Most of the rolling done it the game will be a skill roll. This is made by looking up the skill number and taking that many D6's and rolling them. What you then do is you look for the highest number rolled, and any of its duplicates. The highest is the base score, while the duplicates give it +1. You then compare this to the opposing roll, static target number or a chart of numbers, depending on the situation. 

e.g. A roll of 2, 5, 5, 5, 6 will give you a score of 6, whereas a roll of 2, 3, 5, 5, 5 will give you a score of 7.

The basic act of shooting your ship's weapons is to roll the dice, get the score, and look at your weapon's chart. 

Prototype card. Don't take as is. Will be changing and has been changing each month.

Let's say you roll really well and get a 7, your shots hit good and do 4 damage, and you get to do that damage 3 times as is instructed on the gray panel, doing 12 damage in total. I hope this amount of damage would be about the highest one can make, so to reduce shield tracking and other math. 

In most games there is a roll for hit and for damage separately. This roll is an amalgam of the two. There is no misses in this game, there are only hits of varying potency and "Oh shit, something burned. We need to get a repair team here asap!"

There is a bold line between 6 and 7 just to remind you that with this mechanic the curve gets real flat after 6, and only grant 7 or higher with big amounts of dice, which by the way are hard capped at 10.

You can also have different colored critical dice in the mix which will, in addition, give you a unique result if they show a 6. Those results are different for each weapon and are written on the lines with the black dice next to them.


Why This Roll?

I think I went over all the dice mechanics in the world. And this was the one I came up with. And I did it because of these reasons (granted, I still might go back to the regular dice pool of "count all that rolled over 4+"):
  1. The power fantasy of rolling many dice because you are skilled in that particular field.
  2. I wanted to only use D6's and was hell bent to "unlock the hidden secret of the regular 6 sided die."
  3. It is slightly faster to read than the regular dice pool (of counting all 4+'s).
  4. It is more abstract than the regular dice pool, hopefully reducing analysis paralysis.
  5. There is a higher chance for an underdog to win than with regular dice pool.
  6. The addition of one or more critical dice means that crits are not tied to the amount of dice (=skill) but are equal for each character that has invested in one (I quess you can buy luck in this game...)

This roll also gave the feeling I wanted to convey the most. An officer sitting in front of his computer giving it commands.
Think Star Trek and D&D. Your weapons officer's skill of using his computer how to track the enemy space ships is your D&D equivalent of Strength modifiers. 
And instead of rolling the damage you look it up on the chart. This is because I think two giant space ships shooting each other is more a war of attrition rather than a mano-a-mano whrilwind of ducking and slashing which will inevitably result in misses and glancing blows.

After The Roll - The Damage

This is the part where I am now in the process of making the foundation. How to track damage. And I hope that I am at the end of it.

There is a lot of talk about abstracting the ol' reliable HP tracking. I've spent dozens of evenings reading about this, and come to a conclusion of... naw.

Okay, first of, I do like the concept of abstracting binary HP tracking, and would do that in pretty much every other game, BUT. There is no abstracting the feeling of your chief engineer looking at his console and calling you that the shields are down to 50% but holding steady. That's the perfect job for a static HP tracker.

There still are many things to do with that basic HP tracker. Try to reduce the bloat, have some granularity to it, have some choices for the players how to fill or reduce loss of it, and so on.


I think having shields in many layers to reduce the hassle of having one giant tracker, and to have some additional mechanics on top of it. Let's say your D&D equivalent of a beefy warrior would have a shield value of 6, and 4 layers of it, and also a reliable way to replenish it.

Example 1. This "warrior" ship takes 1 damage from a stray fighter bullying it, it also takes 3 damage from an enemy gunship, and lastly a weakened salvo of missiles for 2 damage. Adding up to a damage of 6 after all the enemies have done doing their thing.
Luckily this damage did not go over the amount of its shield value of 6, so most likely one of the actions the warrior ship takes next turn is to replenish the shields or take the easier way out and divide the damage to other quadrants (if he knows that the enemy gunship is most likely to die next turn and there are no missiles coming his way).

Example 2. Now if the situation is that there is an actual squadron of bombers dealing 3 damage to him, and there's a more powerful enemy ship doing 6 damage, and no one couldn't weaken the missile salvo coming his way which made 4 damage. This would add up to 13 damage at the end of the enemy turn. 
In this situation the first 6 damage would be absorbed by the shield as it did in the first example, but when the 7th damage needs to be resolved, it will pop the first layer of shielding, giving the warrior ship a burnout token in that shielding quadrant, which will reduce its shield layers permanently (and most likely will be really hard to get rid off during the scenario). Then you go through another 6 damage on the next layer of shields, and finally the 13th damage point you suffered will pop the second layer of shields, giving you a second burnout token. 
In this situation the captain of the warrior ship would most likely make a choice to pay a hefty energy cost to make an emergency action to reduce the damage done to him that turn by routing that energy to its shields to avoid the second burnout token.

Example 3. Another, support type ship, might opt for a different type of shield which has lower shield value, but much more layers. Lets say shield value of 4 and 8 layers. This adds up to much more of total shield value, but as the layer strength is lower, it is much easier to "pop" each layer, thus making it actually worse than the first shield example. 
This could almost be though as having a Mirror Image cast on you, which the enemy is needed to scrape through bit by bit to get to the fleshy bits. 

After the Combat

Combat will not be the only thing in the game, but most other things need doing will most likely be formed to fit this dice mechanic. Essentially you'll be making the same rolls against the same"shield" that is, for example, the difficulty of the lock on the door that needs to be hacked, etc.
Hopefully by only having this one mechanic is enough to lessen the cognitive load on even the newest players to get them in to the decision making rather than thinking about what kind of dice needs to be rolled next.

perjantai 18. lokakuuta 2019

WIP Wood Elf folded trousers

Hi all!
My past coffee breaks have been devoted to Wood Elves. I'm trying to break the monotone stances of the GW elves, by doing some kneeling lower halves.
Both of these are still WIP and are missing a layer or two of that leather skirt.

I'll be doing three different kinds, and would very much like to cast them after, because of how tedious they were to do, and how many I'm likely to need.






perjantai 20. syyskuuta 2019

Big Beardy Bois

Hello all!

This time I bring you pictures of cheap miniatures and some sculpting. 

These three are Giants by Reaper, cheaply made out of Chinese rubber from their Bones series. 
I told myself I'd never touch that stuff, but having three giants for about 35 euros sure beats having them made out of easily chippable metal at 135 euros, and big models are way more forgiving when it comes to details. So I bit the bullet.
And the details do have suffered somewhat on this rubbery material. When it comes to the hair and some of the smaller studs and bolts on the armor and clothing, they are really flat or just nonexistent. I can't imagine how some of the more normal sized models will look like.

I also had reservations of its ability to be scraped off of mold lines, which were unfortunately correct. It can not really be scraped and the only way to do is is to carve it, which is a hassle. 
Weirdly enough it filed well, which was positive surprise.

My bois before the makeover.

This picture supposedly shows how well the material can be filed.

These guys go along with my Infernal Dwarf army, and as such, no one will have straight beard lest they wish to be ridiculed.

The easiest one was finished in three sittings, while the others took nearly 10. The hardest one had to have his helmet removed, and had a scalp sculpted over to mask the things I foolishly left on him before starting the sculpting process. He now has a long mane and ears to hide my errors.

Started the first strands and did a brand new scalp for one of them.

Some Hulk Hogan action going on here.

How do the eye patch and circlet stay on their heads, you ask? They are just bolted on to their skulls with hot nails.

Nearly there!

The lovechild of Hulk Hogan, Harley Morenstein and perm rolls.

After the makeover.
I had an idea to give them tusks like the Infernal Dwarfs have, but ultimately decided against it because they are of different species and couldn't get the few practice pieces to look any good on them.
What I will do though is a few pieces of metallic decorations, with some fun details, to break up the monotone beard texture.
And the weapons, of course!

perjantai 6. syyskuuta 2019

Nothing's done, have a batch of WIP pictures

I've been somewhat active in my endeavours, and to prove this I present this assortment of random pictures. 

Here's the Titan on his plain base and an elf for scale.

His tusks are ready, and those pylons of brown stuff are going to be his rocky beard.

Did a test sculpt for beards for my giants. I'm pleased and will go forwards with this.
The other has a scalp sculpted, because no helmets allowed!

Did bases for my lords, and made sure they rank well.

Stamp molded some Sylvan Elf basing bits.


Shadespire miniatures. These will be played in Shadespire and also be unit champions in the 9th Age.

3D printed Sylvan Elf terrain. 

Double sided stamp mold of a Dark Elf shield, for a friend.

I think I'm half way there?

perjantai 5. heinäkuuta 2019

Kadim Titan #4 - The Face

The following is a vomit of pictures I took along the two evenings I sculpted the face for the Titan.
This was pretty much the first time I've done anything human-like, and in the end I was pretty glad how it turned out.

Below is the first draft I put over the white clay.


Next thing I did was I lowered the eyes and remade the nose. Also gave him some proxy teeth/tusks.


Below he does got a bit more mass on the temples and jaw.


Below is a bigger, more shouty mouth.

Below is stronger cheeks and fuller eyebrows.


Below is the final base product. Touched up the nose a bit as well as the jaw and mouth. And of course the chipped stone texture. 


tiistai 2. heinäkuuta 2019

Kadim Titan #3

He's getting there, and unlike my Treeman, he'll actually gets to be played and maybe even painted sooner or later...

These following pics are of the first layers I deem ready. I'll go over them and do a little touch up and add pieces or metal armor, after I've gotten the whole beast done otherwise.


This guy is humongous. I'm such a bad sculptor that I can't judge scale and size, but with these monster type characters it's no biggie. And besides this guy is the single most expensive unridden monster in the game, so it's doubly OK.
The post card underneath acts as a base for now. It is almost exactly the right size.



I tried some to do some extra cracks on the wrist to make is look like it could move. I might go in and exaggerate it a bit more.



The hand is just the right size for grabbing puny elves!
I will also try to do a mini-volcano on sorts on his palm, so he excretes lava on whatever he touches.


The whole thing will be painted as a stone/lava golem with some metal bits. These cracks formed when I was working with too dried putty, but I liked them so much I think I'll take a knife and start chipping away at some more.

torstai 4. huhtikuuta 2019

Kadim Titan #2


Much bulk. Such gains. Wow.
He's got gauntlets, bigger biceps and a remade shoulder. I'm quite content on the body at this point.

Next step is the head. This is just a quick mock-up which is a bit too small for the body. After I've got the size and shape of it, I need to figure out what I'll do with the neck. And after that I can get to the real sculpting!