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Thread: Battleboard Pacing

  1. #11
    Caster of the Inner Tower
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    Definitely big +1 to controlled animation speed.

    I'm not so sure about making armies start at different positions from their composition, because of spells. It would create very weird situations in which adding or removing a single low-level ranged units in a stack of high-level units will completly change the outcome of the battle because it'll change the number of spells that can be cast before melee. What I would do is allow the defender side to position their units however they want in "their" half of the battleground, and then have the attacker units appear in the extreme of their side.

    Something which could be nice to speed up combat is having simulatneous movement, that while a unit is playing it's move/attack animation, you can start moving another unit and so on. It may be tricky to implement due to AoO and similar effects, but in most cases it should work fine.

    Group movement is also something that could be useful, selecting several units and moving them all towards a direction (keeping their relative positions).

  2. #12
    I'm not so sure about making armies start at different positions from their composition, because of spells. It would create very weird situations in which adding or removing a single low-level ranged units in a stack of high-level units will completly change the outcome of the battle because it'll change the number of spells that can be cast before melee. What I would do is allow the defender side to position their units however they want in "their" half of the battleground, and then have the attacker units appear in the extreme of their side.
    I'm not a fan of letting people position their units prior to combat. The problem is battles take to long now. Adding this step only lengthens them further.
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  3. #13
    Alright, I cede the “turn one” point. However, we don't want too many turns in there before armies clash. You need time to position, but it shouldn't take four or five turns to reach the enemy if you're both running at each other. I feel that if the melee units charge each other (on a map with just melee units) the fighting should start on turn two at least.

    Kilobug, I do see your point. Obviously, spells are a major part of our tactical battles and you have to have time to bring them into play.

    What if different unit types had different starting positions instead? For instance, there would be the Melee Position, Ranged Position, and Cavalry Position. We would put spell casters with the ranged units and really fast moving units with the cavalry.

    Troy, I agree. Custom unit placement is going to slow things down, not speed them up. We would have to add an auto-placement option and most people would use it most of the time. Now, that's not to say it's not a good feature, just that it's not going to help the pacing problem we're addressing here.
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  4. #14
    THE GRAND BACKER zdsdead's Avatar
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    Its way to late, but maybe its a skill that some characters get, The tactician, or General skill, that allows you to place units on the battleboard...

    I agree with most of whats being said here, units need to be further apart than 1 turn Imho, although im open to the idea of position with regard to unit type. I see that as a given, really.
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  5. #15
    Well, yes, it is a given, lol. I should have been more specific. I mean we may want to have some distance between the ranks. Like Archers may start three or four lines behind the melee line whether or not there are any melee units in the battle.
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  6. #16
    Mage of the Lesser Tower
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    Custom placement... aie. If we ever implement something like that, it definitely needs to be a defaulted-off Option; I can't imagine ever wanting to spend my actual time doing that. Maybe - maybe - once in a while, for something big like assaulting an opposing Lord's citadel. Maybe.

    Starting melee units about two "moves" apart sounds reasonable to me -- especially if we're just moving them up on the current board, so that if you don't want to clash that quickly... you can have your people back up those first couple of turns to buy some time, just like in MoM. Starting ranged units a couple spaces further back. Faster units maybe start more to the sides - it seems to me like cavalry traditionally goes to the far sides of infantry?


    ...If nothing else, this feels pretty "tweakable" to me once the initial programming is done, right? So you guys could start units about two moves apart now, and if that's still too slow or doesn't give people time to set things up... we can change it, right?

  7. #17
    It's very, very easy to tweak. So, the exact numbers are no bid deal. It's the concept we have to come to a decision on
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  8. #18
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    If the tactical placement is tied to a discipline or a hero perk like I suggested, then only the people who want to use it will even be able to use it. The default would be always on, and the units would start in the default positions. So then all the player would need to do would be to hit the End Tactics button.

  9. #19
    Mage of the Lesser Tower
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    If it's tied to a Hero perk, then people who don't want to use it would find whatever Heroes had it too annoying to use. A Discipline is a good idea, though, if that kind of tactical pre-arrangement is something we can set up at this point.

    Otherwise, for the defaults, from what we've talked about here I'd suggest:
    Start Melee Units with 4 moves between them (defender moves, attacker moves, defender moves - attacker has to step into melee range first, giving the defender the slight advantage of first attack). Set Ranged Units, say, three moves further back than that -- so if it's Melee vs Ranged, you'll have 7 moves between them. Ranged vs Ranged would have 14.

    Put high-speed units (mounted, flying, etc) in between, so five or six spaces back, but split to the left and right sides, not grouped in the center.

    I would prioritize in the inverse order from that -- so if a Unit is mounted or flying, it will start in the middle range but to the sides, regardless of whether its primary attack is melee or ranged. Units that have ranged attacks then start the three spaces further back to use them, even if they also have Melee attacks. And only Units that are pure Melee start up front.

    If it's possible, I'd also tag a "Support" class (like the High Men Clerics) that would start in the middle range (5-6 moves back, but centered). To my mind, that would actually be the top priority, also - Support Units would be set there even if they had speed or ranged attacks.

    In that light, if each Unit can be given a "flag" that kind of determines which type it is - Infantry, Ranged, Cavalry, or Support - we can actually tailor that in ways that make sense instead of relying just on base stats. (Ie., if we have a Unit with a couple of movement points, but which everyone agrees is nevertheless a front-line shocktroop... we can still put it there. Of course, the problem with this is that it means doing that for every Unit in every Race, plus all the Summonables.)

  10. #20
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    well if a unit moves 2 squares in combat (cavalry 3) i'd place them like so:
    m
    x
    x
    x
    x
    x
    m
    m(s)
    m(c)
    m(s+c)
    r
    r(s)
    r(c)
    r(s+c)

    key - m=melee, r=ranged, (s)=support version (ex. m(s)=melee support), (c)=cavalry or flying version, (s+c)=both (c) and (s)

    that way melee types attack on turn 2, infantry on the defender's turn at the soonest (aside from melee support cavalry vs. melee cavalry, melee support cavalry vs. melee support cavalry, or melee cavalry vs. melee, which would be on the attacker's second turn), and archer cavalry have a big advantage of distance on their side (to help with the fighting retreat tactic that they are so good at).
    if you keep the ratio of distances (4 squares being the standard melee unit's movement, which would be 2x the distances) then this works even with DnD style movement scale, and still gives at least one turn for each side to cast spells or adjust for tactics.
    there should also be plenty of room to back peddle to keep a large melee force from cornering and killing your highly mobile horse archers before they run out of ammo.

    given that ranged units and the SL start attacking on their very first turn, you should be able to have most combat start on turn 1 (and given the lack of a placement round, using a pumped up fireball to ensure your weakest and cheapest unit will be more than a match for half the non primary armies in the game).

    of course having a placement round and allowing units to start within 1 square of each other would keep the same battle board pacing for melee units, and reduce the number of spells and ranged attacks occur before melee gets involved (boosting their performance and increasing dependence on the AI).

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