Just had a thought about counter-attacks...

From: buserian_at_juno.com <buserian>
Date: Mon Feb 27 21:31:59 2006

Hi All,

Something I wrote in the last message made me think about the recent discussions on Defensive Doubling, and how it can make games ... problematic at times. I know not everyone is against the rule, but sometimes it does seem to make combats "all or nothing", which I don't like.

On Mon, 27 Feb 2006 08:25:15 -0800 buserian_at_juno.com writes:

> > Certainly they would be able to fly over ZOCs, but they wouldn't
> > be able to avoid combat, I think. They get tired and have to come
> > down to rest, in which case they could be attacked. In DP, it is not
> > much of a problem, as you don't have many flying units (although
> > imagine the Stormwalkers, Wasps and Pterodactyls stacked with the
> > Travelling Stone for a kick-arse combination, add in a dragon for
> > extra effect). But, in NG you have units such as Gargarth and
> > Thunderbird. I wouldn't like them to be able to avoid combat
> > whenever they liked, only to swoop down and take out stacks
> > arbitrarily. It makes them too powerful.
> Well, they CAN'T just swoop down arbitrarily, because once they have
> swooped down they are subject to counter-attack during the same combat
> PLUS every other player gets their turn before the player controlling
> flyers can have them fly back out. Certainly, part of the "High,
> Adored" rule (sorry, couldn't resist) would be that no such unit could
> ever do a move to avoid combat regardless of how high their MF is.

Instead of Defensive Doubling, it would be nice if combat could be a little more "real time" -- if both sides could just inflict damage at the same time. Or, at least, perhaps the defenders can counter-attack differently to avoid the Defensive Doubling. Two options I see:

  1. Make all attacks and counter-attacks take place at the same time, in the proper phase. Thus, attacking and defensive Spirit Magic would be rolled at the same time -- each player would total their MgF, then would simply roll a die at the same time, and apply the results at the same time, perhaps taking turns eliminating units from each others' stacks. Missile Fire would work the same way (is there defensive missile fire? If not, there ought to be!), then the same with melee.
  2. Instead of having the defenders counter-attack with defensive doubling AFTER the attacker, have the defenders roll their counter-attack FIRST, before the attacker. Thus, the attacker would use all magic, THEN the defending player would roll his attack using normal CF values, then the attacker would get his turn.

After writing it down, I don't like option #2 at all.

Shoot, looking at #1 makes me want to go back to the various attempts people made in early issues of Wyrms Footnotes to come up with Simultaneous Movement rules -- if the rules involved Simultaneous Movement AND a single Combat round for ALL players, the games would probably go faster and would feel more like a real battle. But, as I recall, most of the Simultaneous Movement rules were difficult, because all involved having to keep track of which stacks had already moved. Maybe roll a single die, and use the Direction Chart on the board to decide what direction to start from? Start from that mapboard edge/corner, and just move straight across moving one stack at a time?

Then, conduct all phases of combat in the same way, selecting battles in the same order as movement, with each player rolling a single die at the same time for each phase of combat for that battle?

Of course, all of the above makes me think about Rob Heinsoo's attempts to make an Area Movement version of Dragon Pass back in the early 90s...


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