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"Points System Upgrade" Topic

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Skoll99 Inactive Member03 Nov 2012 5:04 a.m. PST

It feels to me that a lot of the tabletop wargames are a bit conservative with the points system i.e unit A is worth 10 points and unit B 20 points, and this should be somewhat balanced.

Why haven't this moved towards what we're used to in RTS games since decades back, with a two- or even three-axis points system?

For example:

Tank has a cost of 100 Steel, 50 Ammo, 10 Population.
Artillery is 30 steel, 100 Ammo, 20 pop.
Infantry is 0 steel, 50 ammo, 50 pop.

You are to play a 300 steel, 200 ammo and 200 pop game. What would you choose?

Has anyone seen this been done? What are your thoughts?

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Nov 2012 9:06 a.m. PST

And RTS means ?

For historical games I'd say it is largely because forces already have a composition based on reality so it would be of little use.

For fantasy games I suppose it might work but can't see what advantages it would have. If the multiple axes had some significance within a campaign it could make sense.

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2012 9:18 a.m. PST

If you were trying to simulate a real time strategy game experience, I can understand your point. However, most miniatures games are tactical exercises, where the commander of the forces involved has no control over strategic resources like steel and population allocation. The point systems in question are designed to balance out relative unit effectiveness, relying upon orders of battle to suggest operational or strategic considerations.

That being said, it might be interesting in a DIY army/scenario to restrict force choices based on strategic or operational considerations (e.g., a colony planet with low "effluvium" levels raising a local militia would have a limit of units armed with "effluvium" based weapons.

Ark3nubis Inactive Member03 Nov 2012 10:40 a.m. PST

RTS = Real Time Strategy

Games like command and conquer, Rome: Total War and my favourite Company of Heroes…

CorSecEng Inactive Member03 Nov 2012 10:46 a.m. PST

Might be interesting to play with abstract terms of support. Divide them into areas that the army list is created from. So you have 600 platoon level support. 300 company level support. and 100 theater level support.

Platoon would dictate how many points of squads and assets you can bring from your platoon.

Company would represent the communication back to command and the importance of your current mission. This allows you to pull more assets from the company.

Theater would be off-board artillery or air power. Drones or even satellite info.

So a well supplied platoon with an important mission would be allows 600 platoon, 300 company, and 200 theater.

A poorly supplied platoon who is cut off might get

400 platoon
50 company
600 theater

They can't send troops or tanks so they send air assets and center more information gathering assets on that area.

Theater assets would be cool to play with. For instance, in TW of Fof you could use a satellite asset to cancel a fog of war card draw. Use a satellite or drone asset to identify a stealth or hidden unit. Of course you could also buy single use air or artillery strikes.

EDIT: This of course has nothing to do with stating units with different point values in different categories. They still have one value but are spread over different categories.

Woollygooseuk03 Nov 2012 10:56 a.m. PST

Ian Hinds' Napoleonic campaign rules, "Diplomacy & Other Means", has a system along the lines you describe. Provinces produce Population and Cash, and some provinces also produce Industry. Units are then constructed from a combination of these resources, e.g:

Militia infantry – 1 Pop
Line infantry – 1 Pop, 1 Cash
Dragoons – 1 Pop, 3 Cash
Foot Artillery – 1 Pop, 3 Cash, 1 Industry
Ship of the Line – 2 Pop, 25 Cash, 2 Industry

StormforceX Inactive Member03 Nov 2012 3:04 p.m. PST

Oh Skoll99 no, no. There is nothing wrong with your proposal, if that is the kind of rules you like but I would like to see more simple rules than more complex. What about this :-
Both sides lay out their armies and each admires the others paint work. Then, both players throw a d6 and the highest score wins. The armies are then packed away and all players go to the pub and discus things, any things.
I offer this set of rules free to all gamers but please give me a mention if you pass them on to someone else.

War Panda03 Nov 2012 8:46 p.m. PST

You are to play a 300 steel, 200 ammo and 200 pop game. What would you choose?

Has anyone seen this been done? What are your thoughts?


(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member04 Nov 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

Does it matter? Can you give an example where it would lead to other type of choices compared to a single point cost per unit?

Ark3nubis Inactive Member04 Nov 2012 2:30 p.m. PST

Hi Skoll99, I know where you are coming from. This sort of approach to our games was address in our games of WAB. I made an A1 map with hexes using the Rome Total War map as a base and we started with one territory at least 5 hexes from another player's then every game we won we would take 1 territory. Each territory would give a marginal points bump (+10 pts or so). This system became adapted to start to give resources a bit like you might get in Settlers of Catan, and allowing a degree of the system you are aftewr above.

The main difference is that WWII supply is multinational, and multicontinental so a bit different from an ancient army would rely on the food and resources in their immediate locale. I suppose the Battle of the Bulge would be an example where a more modern day army was expected to use the resources they came across (their objectives) to maintain their attack.

I suppose the bottom line is that you would have to do an abstracted version of supply (like in Company of Heroes) but only really possible with a map as an overview as given above I think.

Hope that helps,


religon Inactive Member05 Nov 2012 6:38 a.m. PST

Does it matter? Can you give an example where it would lead to other type of choices compared to a single point cost per unit?

Consider a late antiquity game where resources are controlled by people (points), iron and horseflesh.

Universal Army List
Spearman: 10 points
Armored Swordsman: 20 points, 10 iron
Caballeri: 20 points, 20 iron, 10 horseflesh

Swabians may have a 1000 point army with 200 iron.
Franks may have a 1000 point army with 300 iron and 200 horseflesh.

Swabian army: 20 swordsmen + 60 spearmen
Frankish Army: 10 Caballeri + 60 spearmen + 10 swordsmen

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member07 Nov 2012 4:10 a.m. PST

Well yeah, that's kind of a trivial example because you give more resources to one side in a different composition.

I can see it might be useful in a campaign setting, as described before.

But at the level of army list selection, where each side gets the same amount of resources, I don't think it matters much.

Suppose both sides get p points. Troop type 1 costs p1 points, troop type 2 costs p2. If n1 and n2 are the number of both types respectively, then the choice for building an army is limited by:

p1*n1 + p2*n2 <= p

That's a straight line in a n1 vs. n2 plot, delineating the area in the positive quadrant in which valid choices are located.

If you would have 2 different resource types (p and q), with p1 and q1 the cost of troop type 1, etc., then the limits of choice are given by:

p1*n1 + p2*n2 <= p
q1*n1 + q2*n2 <= q

So now you have 2 straight lines, forming not a triangle of possible choices in the n1-n2 plot, but a quadrilateral.

When adding more troop types you go to higher dimensions. When adding more resources, you add bounds.

I don't really see how that would affect player's choices.

However, when one troop type is really much cheaper than the other, the 2nd resource type can be used to balance things out, the limit the excessive choice of the cheaper troop type. But that role is now fulfilled by putting maximums on troops type selected.

Ark3nubis Inactive Member07 Nov 2012 1:38 p.m. PST

Hi guys, this is a photo taken from our Ancient's campaign map, but would this be the sort of thing you might be after?

Each game wins a territory. and adds +10pts to the army total for the following games against whoever. Can't travel across a sea unless you have a navy, we have a whole campaign (roughly) worked out for resources, can't fully remember as we did this about 2 years ago now, I can email/post the ,ap with hexes on. Done for ancients, but as ever cover Northern Europe where most fighting seems to have taken place in history…



Longstrider Inactive Member12 Nov 2012 7:21 p.m. PST

I think I'm with Phil Dutre on this – it doesn't seem like it would really accomplish much different than the generic points system.

In part, this is because army lists go do that work. If what we want from multiple resources is the ability to push force X to using certain types of things and force Y to using certain other types, then having army list restrictions seem like they'd generally be more easy to use than multiple resources.

There's nothing wrong with the idea, and I'd certainly give it a go if there was a game with that mechanism, but so far I don't think it could do anything that army lists cannot do.

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