Chris's Erfworld Game

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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:48 pm

Well, I think that a GM would be ideal for, say, trimancer links, as well as unit creation. So, I'd say, have a bunch of rules to safeguard against exploits, and add a GM for the stuff that gets through. And, the Thou Shalt Not {Insert Text Here} Lists tend to get a bit lengthy, due to their very nature, so I don't really like them.
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:47 pm

Out of curiousity, would the theoretical GM have to manually keep track of all units too? Would that end up being too much of a workload?
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:27 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Out of curiousity, would the theoretical GM have to manually keep track of all units too? Would that end up being too much of a workload?


Probably too much of a workload, especially when a player could in theory have hundreds of units of a dozen types.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:03 pm

Yeah, probably. Though, having, say, two GM's to handle different sides would make a gigantic workload "just" two extra-heavy workloads. I don't know though... does anyone who played (is playing?) in Kaed's game have a comment?
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:12 pm

What I was thinking was that it would be possible to offload that clerical work to a computer.

I have seen (and play, as well as helping admin) functioning games using MySQL and PHP that go into fairly high depth per unit. Though not at all like Erfworld, these games successfully keep track of thousands of units, each with individual stats (hp, xp, etc). Most of the clerical work - if not the combat - could be offloaded like this to a server, or maybe just a program on the GM's personal computer.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:19 am

WaterMonkey314 wrote:What I was thinking was that it would be possible to offload that clerical work to a computer.

I have seen (and play, as well as helping admin) functioning games using MySQL and PHP that go into fairly high depth per unit. Though not at all like Erfworld, these games successfully keep track of thousands of units, each with individual stats (hp, xp, etc). Most of the clerical work - if not the combat - could be offloaded like this to a server, or maybe just a program on the GM's personal computer.


Oh, absolutely. I'm hoping that this can be played face-to-face, though, and at the back of my mind while I'm working on it I'm trying to figure out techniques for doing just that. For instance, each unit type (or individual for units like warlords, casters, etc.) gets its own "character sheet" which, ideally, is either a couple of lines on a sheet of paper or at most a 3x5/A7 card.

(re: the databases, thousands of units means also thousands of hexes. Would like to see it handle the map and unit locations as well...)
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:08 am

Why does the Plains terrain (Level 0) cost 1.5 move to pass through, as opposed to 1?
And why do Level 1 Mountains cost more than Level 2 Mountains for flyers to pass through, instead of vice-versa?
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:27 pm

Nihila wrote:Why does the Plains terrain (Level 0) cost 1.5 move to pass through, as opposed to 1?


A level 1 road costs 1 per hex to move through. It shouldn't be as easy to move through plains as on a road -- though the point could be made that "bare, packed dirt" is the definition of a level 1 road. That bears more thinking on.

And why do Level 1 Mountains cost more than Level 2 Mountains for flyers to pass through, instead of vice-versa?


Typo? Braino? Whichever, it has been fixed.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:43 am

Chris Goodwin wrote:A level 1 road costs 1 per hex to move through. It shouldn't be as easy to move through plains as on a road -- though the point could be made that "bare, packed dirt" is the definition of a level 1 road. That bears more thinking on.

Well, Forest-Capable units can move through forest faster than plains. Ditto for Mountain-Capable and Water-Capable for their respective terrains.

Maybe roads should cost 1 MP for (road level+1) hexes, then 1 MP thereafter, no bonus to fliers.

Also, about Cargo, how much would it cost for a Warlord or unit other than an inanimate thing? (e.g. Transylvito Warlords can carry Doombats)
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:56 pm

Also, I think that a side's unit types should all be defined at the start of a game. It may sound obvious, but you never know.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:09 pm

Nihila wrote:Also, I think that a side's unit types should all be defined at the start of a game. It may sound obvious, but you never know.


Yeah, agreed. That's kind of what I was getting at, but yes, it should be explicit.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:09 am

On the subject of units and maxing them out, a little rant. Keep in mind, this is based merely on watching over the shoulders of people who follow Starcraft matches.

Starcraft, being an RTS, allows a bit more interaction between units than a TBS a-la what we have here. The basic concept is Damage-Per-Second, its meaning obvious. However, many (all?) of the high DpS units are also very low on hitpoints. Add to this the existence of splash damage and you have an interesting situation.

If you want to maximize the damage you could inflict (in theory), you'd build Marines*. However, though your Marines would outdamage anything that only equals their cost, you would not attack units that can either outrange them or kill them with a wide damage area. You would not use Marines to attack Tanks (high range, splash damage), Lurkers (hidden, insane area of damage) or Templars (large damage area for a certain ability).

*:
Spoiler: show
already the analysis gets complex, as I think the unit with highest DpS is the Zergling with attack speed upgrade. However the Zergling is Melee, while the Marine has range and can start concentrating a lot more firepower on something, and a lot sooner.


A similar mechanic in a TBS like TBfGB, which allows fully custom units (and I love this feature of it) may need the costs to be a bit wonky (quadratic? mixed formula on different attributes? but not exponential that's just cruel).

Another TBS system I looooooove is the Disciples one, not least because it involves very few units per battle and is usually very fast to resolve a battle**.

**:
Spoiler: show
Apart from special boss battles and sieges, or the occasional time when you purposefully attack a strong opponent with weak but very buffed up units to level them, most battles get decided in two-three turns per side in my experience.


A "stack" is actually a group of at most 6 units, one of which is a commander. All units gain experience from winning battles and all may level up, from knaves with a pig sticker into awesome warriors to challenge Hell. There is no movement in combat, the stacks simply stand in front of each other in 3 rows of two columns. Usually front is occupied by tough units to protect the back, where more fragile (and more damage-powerful) units are placed.

It has its warts. Magic is so ludicrously powerful for beefig/nerfing units that being out of turn in the open is painting a bullseye on your head.

End rant.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Twoy » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:53 pm

Did you ever look at the rules posted under Dark Arbiter's Another Erf-Game? Most/some of it came from Kaed's rules.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:02 pm

Twoy wrote:Did you ever look at the rules posted under Dark Arbiter's Another Erf-Game? Most/some of it came from Kaed's rules.


No... I will take a look there. Thanks!
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:20 pm

Kaed's system is pretty good for an empire sim, but otoh I have some problems with it.

- units are not very customizable. To y'all this may be a feature, but I like the free-form design of TBfGB. Chalk this as a mere pet peeve.
- and this is major- it's really, really slow. Many units take a ridiculous amount of turns to pop, maxing at the heir (60 turns!). Considering that one turn per day is an optimistic pace, that means two months real time. It's not just heirs. Warlords (useful for building cities and claiming resources) take 10 turns. Claiming good resources takes 8 turns. In effect, this results in days of nothing happening in the early game. And that game never left the early stage.

There are ways around some limitations; you can promote warlords and heirs instantly, if you have enough schmuckers. It looks like a steep cost, but with a bit of care you might eventually get to such high incomes that promotion is the only option that makes sense.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:12 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:- units are not very customizable. To y'all this may be a feature, but I like the free-form design of TBfGB. Chalk this as a mere pet peeve.

I think of it as a feature, because it prevents the exploits I've been proposing. Speaking of those exploits:

Chris, I think that Non-Speaking should be removed as a special. This is because it is highly tempting for Tiny units (Minis!) to take it, leading to this:
Mini
Combat: 2
Defense: 1
Move: 2
Hits: 1
Specials: Non-Speaking
Cost: 10 (!)
If you do the math, these become overpowering due to the optimized Attack/Cost ratio {well, at least against the Stabbers (4C - 2D - 4M - 6H)}. Also, Non-Speaking leads to Mount being a free stat. Though, that may be the intent of it.
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Twoy » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:34 pm

Nihila wrote:I think of it as a feature, because it prevents the exploits I've been proposing. Speaking of those exploits:

I agree with Nihila. It also helps avoid someone like me feeling as if I have to make an elephant if I want to have any chance of winning.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:53 pm

No, you guys are both right. Maybe I also need to rethink my approach to building units. Not too far, but, for instance, Mount should be a different class of unit, like infantry-class, knight-class, caster-class, and so on.

The game needs to be played either:
  • with a GM, or
  • with predefined units only.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Chris Goodwin » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:58 pm

Oh, I'm now thinking that unit production comes out of schmuckers, rather than pop points. It would help explain why Transylvito and Jetstone are so poor after subsidizing Faq's heir popping. And Slately popping his own.
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Re: Chris's Erfworld Game

Postby Nihila » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:08 pm

Chris Goodwin wrote:Oh, I'm now thinking that unit production comes out of schmuckers, rather than pop points. It would help explain why Transylvito and Jetstone are so poor after subsidizing Faq's heir popping. And Slately popping his own.
Well, Vanna is the force driving the faster popping of Faq's heir. Maybe production of units can be sped up with Schmuckers, but Warlords cost more per pop point to accelerate and Heirs have an absolutely obscene rush-build cost. Sort of like how in Civ (if you've played it), a city's production can be hurried with gold.

And also, a lot of the gold costs probably went into building Faq's cities. And, for Jetstone... maybe they are trying to produce too many field units to combat Wanda, so their upkeep costs are going through the roof. Or, maybe Jetstone makes some per turn "side payments" to get people to stay in their coalition, so now they've gone broke.

Has anyone proposed this as a theory to Jetstone's broke-ness before? I actually am starting to like this one. In the first campaign, the per turn payments were just the loot from each city, with the payments being promised as "when we seize this city, you get X%," but now they can't feasibly talk about gaining cities, so they have to spend cold, hard Schmuckers on the Royal Crown Coalition. Maybe we should have a thread to talk about how to mechanize contracts between sides.

The message of this post, for now: I don't think that production should come out of Schmuckers so much as be hurried by Schmuckers.
"The Infantrymen of Erfworld have nothing to lose but their chains. They have Erfworld to win. Infantry of all sides: Unite!"--Kawl Mawx, Master-class Moneymancer
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