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"Creating faction play styles" Topic


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517 hits since 8 Oct 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Aksakal08 Oct 2012 6:15 a.m. PST

Creating faction play styles is always a challenge, and one that I am delving into more intently for soluna scifi's verse than my previous fantasy-historicals. If we're able type a three dimensional weighted grid (and three dimensions may not be enough) I'd do that, but… So instead I will start with some dimensions and their extreme endpoints.

Speed: slow, fast. How quickly models move around the gaming area.
Initiative: doctrine, prescient. How often a model can act.
Durability: fragile, strong. Amount of damage that can be taken.
Fight: melee, ranged. Preference of fighting style.
Armour: shields, armour. Preference for.
Protection: light, heavy. Amount of armour.
Support: buff, debuff. Whether skills help own or hinder enemy.
Quality: quantity, specialists. More basic, or less better skill models.

8 dimensions, so far…

Spreewaldgurken Inactive Member08 Oct 2012 6:19 a.m. PST

Aren't "armor" and "protection" essentially the same?

Personal logo Inari7 Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2012 6:29 a.m. PST

Morale

Angel Barracks08 Oct 2012 6:42 a.m. PST

I would have protection include ECM and ability to hunker down, avoid incoming hits etc.

For example in my games which have a simple saving throw, a medum tank saves on a 3+.

My super small agile, ECM riddled drone also saves on a 3+, it has zero armour but is as hard to take out as the tank, as it avoids fatal hits through means other than simple armour..

punkrabbitt returns08 Oct 2012 7:29 a.m. PST

One thing I find very useful is to take the faction style points and see how modern forces fit into them.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2012 7:44 a.m. PST

Very interesting idea/approach; thanks.

religon Inactive Member08 Oct 2012 11:45 a.m. PST

While I like the relative give-and-take of a statistics-driven faction model, I would suggest perhaps another paradigm to use simultaneously to build your factions.

I often apply the "Rule of Three" from writing and economics to game design. Consider three general faction types: out-shoot, out-last and out-maneuver. Aksakal's initial methodology, mixed with a good point system, will be able to keep out-shoot and out-last factions balanced against one another. The brass rings comes from interesting out-maneuver factions.

Use the truism that "Movies Never Lie" to inspire factions, and you will discover some interesting factions including those elusive out-maneuver factions.

Predator (out-maneuver with cloaking/invisibility, ninja movies)
Mind Control (Akira, various Star Trek races)
Bothan Spies (Intelligence allowing breaking initiative and setup rules); turn opposing forces against their commanders through misinformation and bribes.
Hackers (Matrix)…perhaps speed initiative and setup advantages, disrupt enemy C&C.
Battle Droids (out-shooting)
Inspiring leader faction (John Carter, Braveheart, Samurai Jack)
Professional Soldiers (GI Joe, Clone Troopers)
Durable Hordes (Ewoks, Planet of the Apes, Zombies-in-Space, out-last)
Time Lords (various time travel movies, ability to slow or stop time)
Body Armor (Ghost in the Shell, Exosquad, Halo, Avatar, Judge Dredd)
Terror Inducing Monsters (Alien, Cthulhu)
Flight (Avatar, Flash Gordon)
Beastmaster Cavalry (He-Man, Herculoids, Thundarr)
Space Gangsters (Hutts, Tong-in-space) powerful, but struggle with internal loyalty
Doppleganger (The Thing, perhaps vampire/werewolf/zombie infection inspiration)
Giant Mecha (The Iron Giant)
Bio-terrorists (Cowboy Bebop)
Desert Mystics (cross Jedis and Sandpeople from Star Wars; Dune)

While this adds quite a few "dimensions," it can lead to rewarding game play if you are ambitious enough to consider exotic factions.

Zephyr108 Oct 2012 3:14 p.m. PST

For every one or two advantages a faction has, it should have a weakness that can be exploited by a differing faction.

Aksakal09 Oct 2012 4:25 a.m. PST

Thanks for your responses. They have been very informative.

Re: armour vis protection. Soluna has 2 levels of protection, energy shields and (body) armour, the dimension is the favour of either. The other dimension is the amount: not much (ie civvies) to lots (battle dress or terminator armour).

Re: morale. Like saga I've kind of given it a miss. The game is geared to small skirmishes and rpg encounters.

The arsenal of items and skills (that can almost equally be added to models as well as gear this is a high technology space). I will explain the Luna faction as I see it at the moment…

Luna: the kingmakers, influence from behind the scenes and taking care of business unseen. They favour long range sniper and next to mark assassination and don't like getting caught in the open. They can create pools of moon shadow that their fighters can slip out of reality into allowing them to close with their marks without being attacked. Some powerful leaders, such as The Blood Moon can kill with the touch of her shadow alone. Their weaknesses are lack of heavy armour outside of the limited golems, and being caught in a mid range firefight that they cannot advance or withdraw from.

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2012 8:40 a.m. PST

Aren't "armor" and "protection" essentially the same?

Can also incorporate ideas such as armor being what you put on and protection being natural things like tough skin, nearly immune to fire but weak defense against cold, protection against certain toxins, etc.

Communication each unit on their own to a networked (tech) or "hive mind" (natural) capability.

Within "Fight" the style and type of combat and weaponry
Styles straight-up slugfest to complete hit and run
Weaponry:
rate of fire vs damage done > fires 10 times a turn and does 1D6 if it hits each time or fires 2 times a minute and does 5D6 each time if it hits?
volume of fire vs accuracy?
"shooty" vs close combat?
type of damage death rays that vaporize removing the target, or one that only maims by design to leave a panicked, screaming bleeding casualty that needs a medic to tend and at least one if not two to carry to Medivac?

I would include morale, both from the levels (cockroaches that run as soon as spotted to single minded automaton like that are impervious to morale checks) and flexibility (?) from brittle to fluid so you could have units with very high break points, but when broken, (like breaking a line of ancients which triggers routs) low chance of recovery, to high break points with near automatic recovery (terminators) to low breakpoints with low recovery (rabble) to low break point but high recovery (partisans know they can't stand up to the SS head on, but quickly regroup, get pumped back up for the cause, and back into the fray).

Motivation – not necessarily a single straight line but possibly several variables fit with the obvious limits at each end. To what extent do they want:
Territory? Many wars fought for the increase of holdings vs Mongols who thought it was nothing more than something on which to travel and fight
Building? Are they looking to spread their influence by building cities and infrastructure that reflects their ideals or are they just willing to suck out what they need?
Wealth? Whether a specific resource (water, food, timber, gold) or amassing "things" or gaining knowledge?
Conquered populace? subjugate them as losers and enslave them? Absorb them and use them to run things in the land you just conquered? Eat them as food?

Aksakal10 Oct 2012 4:31 a.m. PST

with fingers crossed behind my back i will say that morale can be 'abstracted' as part of the durability (hit points) a character or squad has. In the system, as a hit points decrease so does the movement allowance and the number of actions that can be performed (and not always in a linear fashion, another dimension: rate of degradation). Less HP = low morale in an association kind of way. HP regeneration is health, medical and morale returning… although it would be up to players to get the near dead into cover…

An example of the non-linear/proportional state degrade is

Mind (initiative – linear)
0 11223344
Body (hit points – baseline)
0 12345678
Speed (movement points- non)
0 12333444

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