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"Idea for Card Based Solo Game" Topic


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712 hits since 23 Sep 2012
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SpleenRippa23 Sep 2012 7:51 a.m. PST

This is long-winded! Sorry!

I was tinkering around with ideas for a set of card based mechanics for solo gaming and came up with the following:

Scale:
I'm going to be using this for individually based 15s. No real time or ground scale.

Cards are drawn from a single deck, which is built according to the composition of the player's force, the AI's, scenario conditions, etc.


Card Types:

Fire & Maneuver
Pretty much the standard card. Allows the Player to activate one or more units and, well, fire and maneuver ;)
If the player's force has a high level of coordination/leadership, he may be able to play cards that allow one unit to suppress an enemy while another flanks, etc.
An army with poor leadership may only be able to play cards that affect a single unit at a time.

Asset Cards
Allow the player to use offtable resources like artillery and whatnot.

Chaos/Fog of War
Random happenings such as stray mortar fire, civilians entering the field, vehicles getting bogged and all manner of wackiness.

OPFOR Cards
Pretty much a combination of F&M and Asset cards, dictating what the AI player is going to do.
One thing I'm having trouble with is how to select what AI unit does what.
If the player draws an OPFOR card stating, "An enemy unit attacks XXX while another moves around your left," should the choice of what units be left ambiguous?


Combat:

I'm tempted to use a diceless system similar to that employed by the "Combat Cards" system by Tactical Assault Games, but with a larger and more granular(?) CRT.

Basically, the player will need to position their forces to maximize the positive modifiers affecting combat outcome on the Combat Results Table.
I figure the CRT will have a middle-ish starting point: shifting results up will result in increasingly better outcomes, while downward may even end up with the firing unit coming under return fire or other bad things.
Just to keep some chance in the system, each card might have a +/- indicated on it. The player will draw a card before resolving combat and apply the indicated modifier.


Obviously, this is just the barest of frameworks, but I would still appreciate any thoughts or ideas you guys may have. :)

SpleenRippa23 Sep 2012 8:06 a.m. PST

I thought I would elaborate a little on the deck building (and RPG) aspects of the system.

I'm working on a system where the player manages a small mercenary force. A CO (with history) is generated, hiring is done and equipment purchased. Previous engagements and notable events or contracts can be simulated to give the unit some history.
What I'm shooting for is kind of a combination of Traveller and BTech/Mechwarrior mercenary generation.

The force CO, his entourage and equipment purchased will all affect what cards the player can put in his deck.
For example, hiring good LTs and Sgts, or buying command vehicles may allow the play of F&M cards that better coordinate operations between multiple units.

Personal logo Brigadier General Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2012 8:36 a.m. PST

Sounds good.

Thorfin11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Sep 2012 12:25 p.m. PST

Sounds very similar to Spacejacker's "Throwdown" Rules link

I think Spacey has since moved onto other things but I had some really fun games with just a few figures whilst playtesting his rules – I thought the system worked really well and I will be re-visiting it soon.

If you are not already familiar with Spacejackers blog, I thoroughly recommend it for inspiration and he also has a great dice system for fast RPG'ing.

I'll be really interested to follow how you get on with this. All the best.

Umpapa26 Sep 2012 4:15 a.m. PST

Seems good, would like to playtest it.

[q]If the player draws an OPFOR card stating, "An enemy unit attacks XXX while another moves around your left," should the choice of what units be left ambiguous?[/q]

OPFOR cards should be diversified, f.ex. combination of below:

OPFOR unit (random/in our LOS or closest/farthest to our/OPFOR leader/Objective/table edge/tank)
-or-
OPFOR units (in number equal to C&C/Leadership Value/Morale/Logistic Value/OPFOR hold Objectives)
-or-
all OPFOR units who are: unconditionally-just all/hidden/in our/OPFOR half of tableboard/in command radius/LOS of OPFOR/our leader/in supply/near Objectives/near civilian Mobs/Veteran/Recruits/Elite/understrength/sniper teams/weapon teams


is


moving
-and/or-
firing
-and/or-
assaulting or, if assault not possible, firing
-and/or-
need pass morale/leadership/command/supply/logistic test to NOT shrink/not retreat/not withdraw/not panic/not surrender/not pin down/resupply/call offboard (artillery/air/space) strike/call medic/call reinforcements/disperse civilian mob/take/execute hostage/etc.

Different enemies would need building different pregame OPFOR decks.

SpleenRippa26 Sep 2012 6:07 p.m. PST

Umpapa…. Wow…

I hadn't really considered going into that much detail on the OPFOR cards, but now that you've typed it out, the hamster is turning. Here's what my feeble thought machine just came up with:

The OPFOR deck could potentially be subdivided: the player would draw from one deck in order to select the unit to act and then draw from a second "action" deck.

Another method, for a single OPFOR deck, could be to use conditional statements on the cards. For example,

"An Enemy infantry unit on your left flank will advance (double time) if not currently under fire. Else, they attack your nearest infantry."

"The enemy Forward Air Controller calls in (whatever asset) to attack your unit closest to/occupying the primary objective."

The list of potential cards could go on forever, I'm sure.

I'd like to keep my morale system pretty simple- not much beyond pinned, shaken or broken/ineffective conditions. I wonder what would be a good way for enemy units to recover from being pinned (or whatever) without having to clutter the OPFOR deck with "rally" cards. Perhaps add a line to each card allowing for a recovery roll?

SpleenRippa26 Sep 2012 6:23 p.m. PST

I cringe at the potential for complicating the game, but die rolls to decide certain elements on a card might help:

"OPFOR unit (roll conditions*) is (**)"


*
1-2 closest to your lead element
3-4 closest to L table edge
5-6 Closest to R table edge

**
1-2 advancing
3-4 firing
5-6 digging in/hull down

Umpapa29 Sep 2012 12:16 p.m. PST

[q]The OPFOR deck could potentially be subdivided: the player would draw from one deck in order to select the unit to act and then draw from a second "action" deck.[/q]
Separation of Selection of Unit and Action is very good idea. However, to avoid two decks, I would prefer such solution: most OPFOR cards would be divided into two halves: upper one describe method of selection of OPFOR units, lower one selection of Actions, if possible with some kind quasi AI algorithms (decision trees?).
For resolving most OPFOR situations, You just draw TWO cards: first answers the question "who?", the second one – "what?".
There may would be also rare cards not divided – which describe situation resolved immediately at once, like calling of board-bombardment.

I suppose there could be also "elite" cards (added before game to OPFOR deck if OPFOR is veteran), which could allow for drawing more card then two, either for selecting more OPFOR units (superb C&C), or more action (great OPFOR Morale, Discipline or Training).

[q]I'd like to keep my morale system pretty simple- not much beyond pinned, shaken or broken/ineffective conditions. I wonder what would be a good way for enemy units to recover from being pinned (or whatever) without having to clutter the OPFOR deck with "rally" cards. Perhaps add a line to each card allowing for a recovery roll?[/q]
Maybe add to most (if You like) OPFOR cards in the Action description: "Upgrade selected units/s status: from Broken to Shaken, from Shaken to Pinned, from Pinned to Ready. Then assault/fire/move etc…"

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