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Key



Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Arena - Suggestions and rules discussion  

This topic is for discussion of the Arena board and rules, especially for conversations around the playtesting of the Arena rules variants.
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Key



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Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:36 pm    Post subject:  

A few thoughts based on some recent games I've played/seen:

I think 2-movement creatures are awfully strong for their cost. Centaurs seem to be much stronger than their 9-cost would indicate. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm thinking of raising the costs for 2-movement to be double that of 1-movement (currently it's 1.5x).
Lordy and I noticed that the way the rules are currently written, it's impossible for a weaker army to defeat a stronger army in combat, even if the difference is only 1, if the stronger army stays together. We tried out a variant of the elevation rules which gives a greater advantage to an army that encircles another and attacks from higher ground. If anyone else wants to try out this variant, please post the results here.

:-)
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Chinaren



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Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject:  

I think I agree on this board. However, don't forget that it may be different on a different sized board.

This also counts for the stronger army thing, though this depends upon terrain differences as well.
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Key



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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject:  

A few other changes I'm considering for simplification:

- removing the restriction on water being at +1 elevation.
- limiting elevation to -1 and +1 rather than -2 and +2.

I think these will help make the game a little easier to learn and play, which will be especially helpful when we introduce magic, which has its own complexity.
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Rune



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject:  

I had to admit- it appeared that water was rather hard to get and easy to undo.
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Key



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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject:  

Rune wrote: I had to admit- it appeared that water was rather hard to get and easy to undo.

Yes, there's already a built-in disadvantage to water creatures in that they can't occupy the default terrain, so no reason to make it even harder.

Another change I've made is in terminology to one of the advanced rules - what I used to call "vehicles" are now "neutral creatures". Exact same rules, just a different way of explaining it.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: Another change I've made is in terminology to one of the advanced rules - what I used to call "vehicles" are now "neutral creatures". Exact same rules, just a different way of explaining it.

Mmmm, I'm not sure about that name Key. It could lead to confusion, especially for boats and so forth, which aren't infact creatures at all.
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Key



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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject:  

Well, I'm open to other suggestions. "Vehicle" works well to describe boats and horses, but fails in describing things like catapults, that don't move, and scorpions, that are carried.

The concept is really something like "nonintelligence" or "non-agency" - something that won't act on its own. But I couldn't find a good term for that. "Neutral" seemed a good compromise, and to get across the idea that it could be used by either side.
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Rune



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Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:27 pm    Post subject:  

Neuters? :)
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Key



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Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject:  

One rules change chinaren and I just played around with a bit was dropping the concept of elevations completely. In the two games we played, it made the play simpler and shorter (which I think we need) but there was still enough complexity for it to be fun. Try this out if you get a chance.
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Key



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Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject:  

After some more playtesting, I've made a few small rules changes that mostly affect flying:

- Adding a storm to a hex (storms make hexes impassable to flying creatures) now costs the same as other changes of the terrain (i.e. 4 hexes of control for your own hex, 6 for an uncontrolled hex, and 8 for an opponent's hex). It used to be 5 all around.
- You can now remove storms at the same cost to create them (4/6/8), although storms will also still disappear after 3 turns.
- If you add a storm to a hex that contains a flying creature, they do not have to retreat that turn. They have to retreat the next turn. This also affects ground terrain. If you change a hex out from under someone to a hex they can't occupy, they need to move away in their next turn, but they don't need to retreat at the end of your turn.

All of these changes should make flying creatures a little more useful, so hopefully we'll see some of them in the tournament. :D

I think these will be the only changes before the tournament.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:50 pm    Post subject:  

Key wrote:

All of these changes should make flying creatures a little more useful, so hopefully we'll see some of them in the tournament. :D

.

If you have any flying creature of course. [/bitter]

How about being able to land in the hex if someone storms you too?
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Key



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Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject:  

Quote: If you have any flying creature of course. [/bitter]
:lol: Trade for them! I keep telling you, your giants are pure gold! :D

Or you can offer fables for cards, too. That's legal.

Quote: How about being able to land in the hex if someone storms you too?
Yes, if someone storms the hex you're in, you can land in that hex on your next turn. Or you can move away to another non-stormy hex.
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Crossfire



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Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:33 am    Post subject:  

The trading system's an excellent idea. It's versatile, useful and fits in wonderfully with the mood of the game... I really think it should be incorporated.

On the subject of tournament rewards... I don't like the idea of getting Fables for winning tournaments. What about gaining a random card, or a certain amount of points you can spend on cards, each time you win a tournament battle?

If you win the entire tournament, you could get a larger amount of points, which you could use to purchase still more cards, which could be traded to other Arena players for Fables... That would fit in far better than simply handing out a Fable prize.

There could even be special bounty-hunting events held, where if you are the first to get a certain set of cards you would be able to gain a rare item or creature... There's a lot of things you could do with this, as I said above.

I don't really have much time now, but when I return to IF once more, I'll give you some more of my suggestions.
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Key



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Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject:  

Crossfire wrote: On the subject of tournament rewards... I don't like the idea of getting Fables for winning tournaments. What about gaining a random card, or a certain amount of points you can spend on cards, each time you win a tournament battle?

Yes, I think that's a good idea. For the first tourney, I didn't set it up that way because I'm not sure that we'll keep the same cards as we go forward. Plus I wanted to motivate people who are new to Arena. But I think in the real game, the prizes should be cards (or maybe the ability to make your own card).
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D-Lotus



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject:  

Also, Crossfire and I concluded last night that the Potions of speed are too powerful. It is too easy to just power up a giant or something similarly powerful with potions of speed and have it reach the oponents base within the first turn.

Crossfire suggested that potions of speed be limited to:

The Potion of Speed cannot be used on one creature more than once per turn.

And something should be done about those dwarven skyfliers, too...*grumbles*
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject:  

Why is it D, that all of your complaints seem to have been armies/tactics I've used against you? :P
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D-Lotus



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Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject:  

Possibly because you are an Arena bully. :(

No, actually, Crossfire also complained to me when I used the potion strategy on him.
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Crossfire



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Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:49 am    Post subject:  

I've got the equivalent of a palm court orchestra comprised entirely out of brass and percussion playing Silent Night in my ear now, so forgive me if my contributions are a little chaotic.

I don't really understand the 'extra life' ability that creatures can have. The Kings don't have life, although that would be an excellent addition and would prevent one-turn kills such as the Giant Speed Bonus combination. I'd like it if creatures had health, though.

You might be thinking that if you add health to creatures Arena might start to resemble Magic the Gathering, but I think that its core concepts are different enough that even calling it Toughness and using MtG terminology wouldn't really make it blend in. It would really help out in some cases and make the game a lot more interesting.

Well, it's interesting enough already, but... Well, you know what I mean.

Walls are basically creatures that can't deal damage and have very similar costs to ordinary summons; calling their Power type 'Blunt' is, although funny, not quite accurate. Defensive or something would probably be a little better.

Perhaps we could keep Blunt damage and add different types of defensive capabilities to creatures... Here's an example.

Let's say we call creature health Defense. A creature with Defense 1: Armor X would take X*2 less damage from Targeted attacks, X less damage from ordinary Melee attacks but X/2 more damage (rounded up) from Blunt attacks.

Whenever an Armored creature was hit by a Blunt attack, its controller would roll a die. If he or she or it rolled 4-6, that creature would lose 1 Defense and 1 Armor in addition to any damage taken. If he/she/it rolled 1-3, nothing would happen. When Defense drops to less than 0, that creature dies; obviously if you lose Armor you lose protection.

Armored creatures would cost more, but as you can see there are trade-offs which make them a little easier to play and a little easier to defeat, as opposed to nearly invincible 100-cost behemoths.

That's about it! I don't think I really have time to look over this and edit it, but I hope it makes sense! I'll talk more about this when I can, but I hope you like my idea... *fades*
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Key



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Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject:  

"Extra life" just means that if you get killed, you don't really die, you just use up your extra life instead. You can have multiple extra lives of course.

So in a way that's like toughness, but not exactly.

I want to keep the basic game as simple as possible (ie. without hit points, or "health") because once we start adding spells and letting people create their own creatures, things are going to get very complex quickly. Keeping track of all the things that you can do is going to be easier if you don't also have to be thinking about your creatures' health.

I like the idea of Armor, though. You could make creatures with armor X immune to attacks of less than X power, though we'd have to figure out how to handle it if there were mixed creatures in a battle, some with armor and some not.

Keep up the creative thinking!

:-)

Crossfire wrote: I've got the equivalent of a palm court orchestra comprised entirely out of brass and percussion playing Silent Night in my ear now, so forgive me if my contributions are a little chaotic.

I don't really understand the 'extra life' ability that creatures can have. The Kings don't have life, although that would be an excellent addition and would prevent one-turn kills such as the Giant Speed Bonus combination. I'd like it if creatures had health, though.

You might be thinking that if you add health to creatures Arena might start to resemble Magic the Gathering, but I think that its core concepts are different enough that even calling it Toughness and using MtG terminology wouldn't really make it blend in. It would really help out in some cases and make the game a lot more interesting.

Well, it's interesting enough already, but... Well, you know what I mean.

Walls are basically creatures that can't deal damage and have very similar costs to ordinary summons; calling their Power type 'Blunt' is, although funny, not quite accurate. Defensive or something would probably be a little better.

Perhaps we could keep Blunt damage and add different types of defensive capabilities to creatures... Here's an example.

Let's say we call creature health Defense. A creature with Defense 1: Armor X would take X*2 less damage from Targeted attacks, X less damage from ordinary Melee attacks but X/2 more damage (rounded up) from Blunt attacks.

Whenever an Armored creature was hit by a Blunt attack, its controller would roll a die. If he or she or it rolled 4-6, that creature would lose 1 Defense and 1 Armor in addition to any damage taken. If he/she/it rolled 1-3, nothing would happen. When Defense drops to less than 0, that creature dies; obviously if you lose Armor you lose protection.

Armored creatures would cost more, but as you can see there are trade-offs which make them a little easier to play and a little easier to defeat, as opposed to nearly invincible 100-cost behemoths.

That's about it! I don't think I really have time to look over this and edit it, but I hope it makes sense! I'll talk more about this when I can, but I hope you like my idea... *fades*
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D-Lotus



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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject:  

What about the potions of speed and the dwarven skyfliers? Are we going to do anything 'bout them?

Also...when is the next tournament? I'm tired of waiting.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject:  

I jus thave to wait for Lordy to forfiet and then we can do the next one. ;)
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:43 pm    Post subject:  

I think you should forfeit C'ren - you haven't even won a single match in the tournement yet, but somehow you're still in the final.
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Chinaren



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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject:  

... a testiment to my skill and reputation. ;)

When are you around oh demonic one, if you're not going to surrender? PM me.

Oh, and Key, we need some clarification about use of potions etc. I thought they were not cumulative. Eg: If you drink 4 potions of speed you don't get +4 moves, or whatever it is.
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Key



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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject:  

Chinaren wrote: Oh, and Key, we need some clarification about use of potions etc. I thought they were not cumulative. Eg: If you drink 4 potions of speed you don't get +4 moves, or whatever it is.

From the Advanced Rules:

Quote: Only one of the same type of item may be used by the same creature during the same turn (e.g. a creature could not use two magic swords at the same time).

That applies to potions as well. So a creature could use a potion of speed and a potion of firebreathing in the same turn, but not two potions of speed.

I agree that Dwarven Skyfliers are too cheap. When the tournament ends, we'll want to revisit some of the parameters for calculating cost. In particular, I think that moving 2 should be more expensive, especially for low-power creatures like horses and the skyflier. But I don't want to change anything in the middle of the tourney.

So hurry up and play!

:-)
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Crossfire



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Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject:  

Ah... I see the problem now. I remember looking over Dwarven Skyflier before you added creature abilities and it had some conditions text on its non-melee attack.

I believe that the Ranged Power 5 attack could only be used once every three turns and could only be activated when Dwarven Skyflier was in flight, or something along those lines. Possibly it's some kind of "steampunk" fantasy-race bomber, I don't know.

Its text was probably deleted inadvertently when you were making the update.
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Key



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Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject:  

Crossfire wrote: I believe that the Ranged Power 5 attack could only be used once every three turns and could only be activated when Dwarven Skyflier was in flight, or something along those lines. Possibly it's some kind of "steampunk" fantasy-race bomber, I don't know.

Its text was probably deleted inadvertently when you were making the update.

No it wasn't inadvertent, I just wanted to standardize the cards and not have any ability that wasn't supported by the rules. "Can only attack while flying" and "can only attack once every 3 turns" aren't currently in the set of possible limitations, although they could be eventually.

But regardless, it's clear that a creature with the current Dwarven Skyflier abilities should have a higher cost than what the formula is coming up with. So we need to do a bit of adjusting.
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject:  

Well, I like Skyfliers. Though I would like to place a copyright to stop anyone else using them.
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Key



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Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject:  

They're pretty easy to beat if someone knows you're using them, though. Archers are much cheaper, and it doesn't take many to take a skyflier down.

o-)
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject:  

You can do it with a single orc archer if you know what you're doing.
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D-Lotus



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Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject:  

That's true, but how would you ever know if they're going to use a skyflier? You would have to include an archer in every battle formation.
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:39 pm    Post subject:  

...and? Archers - especially those with posion - are awesome.

If you don't take troops to counter each potential threat, surely you deserve to lose?
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D-Lotus



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Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:49 pm    Post subject:  

Surely you can't have a formation that counters every single threat. No formation is perfect. But anyway, that's besides the point. I understand that skyfliers are not indestructible, but I still think they should cost a little more, since they are pretty damn powerful.
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Crossfire



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Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject:  

*grins* You know, it's entirely possible I made them. I did create a lot of strange beings in the early days of Arena, when you could actually edit the creatures you made and I was semi-delirious with Arena fever (by which I mean virulent influenza). :o

It sounds sort of like my style of monster, though if anyone else remembers making it, please tell us.
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Key



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Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject:  

OK, made a few more changes to the rules:

- I've gone back to referring to neutral creatures as "vehicles" since that seems to be an easier and clearer description.
- I've modified the poison rules so that now the poison bonus must be greater than the margin of victory to have an effect (e.g. an orc archer (Ranged Power 1, poison +1) can still kill a Power 1 creature, but not a Power 2 creature anymore).
- I've added Enclosed vehicle as a variant, but haven't had a chance to put it into the official rules yet.

There's one more pretty major rule change which I mentioned earlier and I would like to try out. We can try it out a bit and then if it seems promising, use it in the next tourney. It's a bit more complicated, but I think it adds quite a bit of strategy and excitement. Here it is:

Quote: Players still alternate moves. But each player moves all of their creatures during their opponents move as well. Here's how it works:
Terrain change happens as usual.
At the start of the movement phase, the player whose turn it is first chooses a creature who must move first. It could be the player's creature or an opponent creature. If it is an opponent creature, the opponent moves it.
Then the opponent chooses the next creature that must move (theirs or the players) of the remaining creatures. This alternation continues until all creatures are moved. No creature may move more than once per turn.
At any time, after the movement of any creature, the player whose turn it is may declare combat. At that time any creatures occupying the same hex engage in combat and retreat according to the standard rules, and the turn continues. The player whose turn it is may declare combat multiple times if he wishes.
After all creatures have moved, combat occurs whether or not the player whose turn it is declares it

That's it. Basically the idea is to have a more interactive movement and combat phase, where the defender has a chance to run away or fight back while the attacker is moving. Still the attacker has a big advantage, though, with the ability to declare combat or not (e.g. the attacker could pile on the orcs and not declare combat until the defender's giant was overwhelmed).

Let me know if you're going to be around and would like to try out this rules change with me (give me good times and places to meet). Or you can just try playing yourself and let me know how it goes.

:-)
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D-Lotus



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Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject:  

So you could force the other opponent to move one of his creatures away from a strategic hex? If the opponent chooses to, may he/she not move the creature from its current hex?
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Key



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Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject:  

You can have a creature hold in place, just like in the old rules you don't have to move all your creatures. But if you choose not to move a creature when designated, it doesn't move that turn.

I think forcing your opponent's creatures to move first will generally be the best strategy. It's better to see where they go as much as you can and then attack where they're weakest. But your opponents can always retreat or hold their ground, so sometimes when you've got the chance to take out a creature immediately, that will be the best move.
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Key



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Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject:  

I've also added the new board to the chat room.
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LordoftheNight



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Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject:  

Is it possible to alternate between boards? Or are they all going to be played on the larger map from now on?
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Key



Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject:  

You can use the old board if you like at:

http://www.cityofif.com/arena/board/board.php

It doesn't have a chat associated with it, but it should still work - you just need to open it in a separate window from whatever chat room you're in.

But try them both out and let me know what you think. Anything can happen...

:-)
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