The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby HerbieRai » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:14 am

Can you tell us a rough estimate on how many pop points we'll be getting a turn? I know it's dependant on a few things, but I don't want to create a 4k pt unit if we're only getting 5k a side every turn.

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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:45 am

1. Nitpicks

Right, some book-keeping to do- noticed that the online version of the combat spreadsheet still had !#REF errors (that's what I get for downloading a converted one) and a Defense bug (it's more intuitive to add, rather than substract, terrain Defense bonus from average Defense).

The new link for the combat spreadsheet is this one.

2. Team formation

I see definite steps are made towards forming an alliance already. So I'll extend that deadline for tomorrow-ish to let the other players have their say. If everyone (and I mean everyone playing) is ok with the suggested teams, you may as well start discussing among yourselves what kinds of units to design.

Speaking of which

3. Pop point allocation

Good question. My original plan was to give all new players to the game 5000 starting pop-points, then each side would get 2000 pop-points per allied player to share as they see fit. That is, you'll get 6000 pop-points per turn.

Now, I'm not pretending any rigurous criterion for the above. (Why 5000 at the start? So you might, kinda-sorta, be able to pop the same number of Scouts as you could in the Battle of Two Cities from your starting points). Too many pop-points per turn, and units will start accumulating on the map. Too little, and every battle mistake (or plain dumb misfortune) will be tougher to recover from. Maybe we want this, maybe not, experience will tell.

As for 4000-point units, well, that's a significant amount of moolah, yes. For that much cash you might buy a Keep-capable Builder that would not be too shabby in other regards as well. Do I really want to make it easy for Keep-capable Builders to roam the map? Not really. You might have one or a couple, but they'll be worth an arm and a leg.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:55 am

And I was planning to keep this for later, but why not prepare whatever comes into my mind regarding

4. Play Tips

- Suppose you have a sapper unit in a hex, and in a neighbouring hex there's a trap. It's not your turn, you have no units in that hex, so you don't know who's moving there. If the trap tells the sapper that it "wants" to explode, what do you do?

Waiting for your deliberation might tell the other side that something's fishy in that hex. So I suggest you leave me orders to cover for such eventualities, clear orders that do not depend on what might have triggered the trap. Orders like "don't detonate", "detonate always", "detonate on the second trigger in the turn" etc; you may give different orders for different traps, but remember they explode in increasing order of damage.

- You might want to give similar orders for when the enemy does enter the hex where you have your sapper too, but then you are allowed, of course, to include information about the triggering units in the orders ("detonate if no damage is wasted ie, the triggering stack has at least as much Hits as the trap might kill", for example).

- Healomancers negate damage dealt to a unit. You are free to give orders like "Healomancer, negate damage that is targeted at this unit", or a combination of several such orders ("heal this unit if it needs to, if there's left over healing apply it to this other unit" etc). In fact, I'd rather you do this before battle so as to avoid lack of fluency and arguments about whether the Healomancer was quick enough to save Commander RedShirt from Fluffy's jaws. If the Healomancer does not need to do any healing at all in order to comply with the order given, cool, they have not yet used their ability that turn and might do so in another battle.

(EDIT: realized that the rules don't make clear whether a shocked healer can still heal in the ensuing battle. I think a common-sense answer is NO. I've added a sentence to the rules doc to that effect.)
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby LTDave » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:32 pm

Just a note on the rules:
The Credits should read "Mr Ronaldo Calliari, Esq", not "Cagliari".

Other than that, not as scary as first thought.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby Nihila » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:06 pm

I'm fine with any team suggestions, so I'm fine with forming a team with Sihoiba and HerbieRai.
"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: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby kontan the blue » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:28 pm

I won't be joining (6 really is a good number to start), but I'll be here to provide constructive criticism on the system as things get played out.

That, and this'll be fun to watch.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby LTDave » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:34 am

Ok, so I've had a look at the unit creation s'sheet, and I'm pretty sure there's a definite bias towards lots of little units.

I've also looked at the combat calculator, and it looks like a team of 8 units with 6 attack are pretty much guaranteed to wipe out a unit of 8 units with 3 hits each. This might be the design, but it'll very much benefit the team that strikes first.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby thetobias » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:33 am

Due to a lot of other projects and games I will not be able to join the battle for oddworld. I will be watching from afar however and might join in the next round. This means my place is free for another side to play if someone wants to.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:31 am

1. LTDave's remarks

LTDave wrote:Ok, so I've had a look at the unit creation s'sheet, and I'm pretty sure there's a definite bias towards lots of little units.


Yes, and this is intentional. A huge chunk of the system's cost rules is designed to ensure a rule of thumb: "the cost of a unit with 2*X Hits is at least as much as the cost of units with X Hits needed to guarantee croaking the larger unit". The Autoheal rule of Erfworld would otherwise favour, as we all know, larger units.

It's also the cause of me raising the minimal Hits that a unit may have to 3 (and minimal for Scout to a whopping 5).

I've also looked at the combat calculator, and it looks like a team of 8 units with 6 attack are pretty much guaranteed to wipe out a unit of 8 units with 3 hits each. This might be the design, but it'll very much benefit the team that strikes first.


This is not too different from previous TBf<> games. Apart from the very first one, I think, where Attack was capped at Hits or something like that, and the random factor was at most 60%. More recent games have raised max-random to 100% and Attack to 2*Hits.

The one thing that's not the same, compared to more recent TBf<>s, is the maximum Defense of units- 4, not 5. If you want Def-5 or more, you'd better use terrain bonuses. Or fortifications.

(EDIT: btw, in a delicate balancing act, there's a connection between max natural defense 4, max random 100%, max Attack 2*Hits, 2*X Hits being "less efficient" than X Hits and the cost formula as it stands now. Increase a unit's Defense above 4, for example, and magically the 2*X Hits may well become as efficient or more so.)

And PS, I'll fix the credits soon :)

2. "I'll stand around and watch"

You're welcome :)

Now, for a few turns probably, there will be no "public" status reports, because the two sides haven't yet met. But there's still PMs, assuming of course you keep mum and don't share what you may find out with anyone.

3. Teams

So, three people have agreed among themselves to be a team. I think, since there were no protests from the others, that we can call that settled.

So the teams are:

Team A:
Nihila, HerbieRai, Sihoiba

Team B:
WaterMonkey314, LTDave, thetobias

4. The Game!

Tomorrow (Friday) I'll start a new thread for this battle. First post will contain links to the relevant docs, the map as I'll use it in later bookkeeping, story fluff. Subsequent posts will be game status updates, you posting units etc.

Remember, each of you can design 5 units. Keep one known only to your allies, but the other 4 will be made public in that other thread.

Each of you gets 5000 pop-points at the start, and each side will in subsequent turns get 6000 pop-points per turn, to share among allies as they see fit.

Your starting army needs to contain (at least) one Commander. You don't need to design a unit with Commander special; a unit can be popped as a Commander if you say so, and that unit gains the Commander special (it also costs that much more to pop), provided that unit has anywhere from 5 to 10 Hits. Since I doubt I'll be seeing many units with more than 10 Hits, that's probably not that restrictive.
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby Sihoiba » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:29 am

Nihilia will be away till Sunday, and we're still debating his starting units, just to warn you Bland.

Opinions of the rules:
1)They definitely favour low cost swarms of units, hence your lower hits cap.
2)Allowing 0 attack units allows for some interesting quirks.
3)Unit mount relays are actually easier to set up under this system.

And a question. A 0 attack unit with sapper, can it lay a 0 damage trap for the purposes of detecting units?

Also does starting army mean the entire team's starting army, or each players?
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Re: The Battle for Oddworld(x2)

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:48 pm

1. The thread

In this thread is where the game info will be disseminated. Post your units there. That's where I'll also post game updates for this particular scenario.

2. irt. Sihoiba

Yes, lower hits will be more common in this game. Again, this is by design; what's left to see is whether this was actually desireable.

Well, at least, a side is likely to have hundreds of archers and only tens of dwagons purely for economic reasons. So, I guess, Erf-like unit count ratios will be common.

I'm very curious about 0 attack quirks, myself :) Be Parson! Some things, like an attack cap, are very easy to fix if they turn out to be a problem. But I kinda hope any "quirks" turn out on the interesting, not game-breaking side.

Unit mount relays are easier- yes. That's a good thing, I suppose, because I expect the combat to be very lethal. Plus, some careful Defense planning can make a side a reasonably tough nut to crack (assuming you have a few turns to set it up). An expeditionary force would get diminished fighting far away from friendly spawn points against defenders that can quickly get from their own pop location.

The answer about the 0 damage trap- yes. The trap will inform you when it wants to blow up. But it won't ever kill anything, so it will never reveal what triggered it. The real trouble with damage 0 traps is spot/disarm. There's no reason for you to not have a hundred "incompetent" sappers that merely plant fake traps to conceal your real claymores under. To prevent that, I'll have to take action now and say that spotting/disarming is limited to one trap per Sapper per turn if the trap actually does damage. Ie, a sapper can find and disarm as many damage 0 traps as there are, plus one actual trap, if one exists, in a turn.

Starting army: I think this is what you want to know: you, player X, have 5000 points. Use these to buy whatever units from those you have designed. Your allies also have 5000 points and will buy their own armies.
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