Ideas for new game modes

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Ideas for new game modes

Post#1 » 03 Feb 2016, 01:41

I thought I'd put ideas for possible new game modes here.

Hold the Fort/King of the Hill

Hold the fort/King of the Hill is a game mode that's used in lots of multiplayer games.

The aim is to capture and hold a "fort" or be "king of the hill" by controlling a specified location for a period of time or at the end of the game.

A way to adapt it for this game could be:

One map hex that is of equal distance between each player's HQ is randomly selected by the computer before the game to be the "fort" hex. It doesn't need to be a fort - it could be represented by a blank flag, similar to the HQ flags and would change to the colour of whichever team controls it. It should probably have its own terrain hex so as not to spawn on an inaccessible sea hex.

This equal distance rule will create a line across the map between the players (e.g. 5 hexes apart from each HQ, 6 hexes apart from each HQ and so on) of maybe 8 or 10 map hexes that could randomly be the "fort" hex.

If Fog of War was off, both players would be able to see the "fort"'s location at the start of the game. If Fog of War was on, then each player would have to explore the map to locate it, with a roughly equal chance of locating it first.

The aim would be to control the "fort" for a period of time, or have control of it at the end of the game if neither player did that.

There are a couple of methods that could be chosen to define what control of the "fort" is. Either:

i) The player has to have a unit (not necessarily the same unit) located in the "fort" hex for a period of turns, perhaps something 5. There'd be a countdown timer showing how many turns were left until victory.


ii) The "fort" is under control of whichever player last occupied it (so they don't have to keep a unit in there).

The difference would be that with the first method, it would be easier to stop the other player "holding the fort" since one would just need to destroy the occupying unit, which could be potentially done from three hexes away with an artillery unit. The second method, the other player has to get one of his units on to the "fort" hex to capture it. I'm not sure which method I think would work better right now. Perhaps the second method is more practical, since it would stop a case of a player accidentally moving a unit off of the "fort" and losing progress.

(Technically there might also be the possibility of a draw with the first method if neither player had a unit in the hex at the end of the game, put perhaps whoever controlled it for the most number of turns could be the winner in those instances).

Victory in this mode could still also be achieved by conquering each other's HQs, so there would be two paths to victory. This would open up the possibility of surprise attacks on an enemy HQ while the other player's attention was focused on capturing the "fort".


The main difference in this mode would be that, instead of the capture targets for victory being at different sides of the map, there'd be one somewhere in the middle-ground between the players. This could have several benefits, including quicker games.

Since in this mode, the battle can be won from the middle of the map (far away from the enemy's reinforcement zone), it could also potentially cut out the end part of multiplayer battles - when one side has the upper hand and victory is certain and it's just a matter of having to play out the final few turns.

There'd also perhaps be a tactical element in cutting off the supply lines of reinforcements sent by a player holding the "fort" to protect it, weakening it before attacking it directly.

The random element of the "fort"'s location would also add an extra layer of variation to a game, for this second capture hex ("fort") could be directly between the HQs or even at the other side of the map, far from the reinforcement zones and each location would produce a different type of game, one condensed and one stretched.

As a general rule, I've found a good time period for online multiplayer games to be about 20-45 minutes per game/match, so I think game modes that would produce games of that time frame would be a good thing. I'm thinking a maximum game length for this might be something like 10 or 12 turns.

I think a "hold the fort" idea also fits with the game's theme of holding resource hexes as part of the way to victory. It just takes it a step further by having the "fort" as one "super resource" to fight for control over.

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Re: Ideas for new game modes

Post#2 » 03 Feb 2016, 15:17

Another game variant, similar to the "hold the fort" described above, but instead of having one "fort" hex to capture there are three.

So, again, there'd be a line of equal distance across the map between the players, this time perhaps two or three hexes thick.

Within this area, there would be three hexes randomly selected before the game to be the capture objectives. Perhaps these hexes could have gold edges.

The aim of the game would be to have control of all three capture hexes at the same time.

As with "hold the fort", the goal of this mode is to have victory achieved by having control of the middle ground rather than having to fight a way to the enemy HQ, hence providing a quicker game.

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Re: Ideas for new game modes

Post#3 » 03 Feb 2016, 15:59

Another possible change could be, in fog of war mode, to know each player's resource revenue and perhaps also the points total of existing forces on the map.

One problem with fog of war in not having this information, is one doesn't know when to press an advantage. For example, one can be winning the battle in the middle ground but then one pushes forward and walks into a trap, losing troops and the advantage.

This leads to caution and conservatism in play and more defensive strategy, prolonging game length. Knowing resource and army strength one would be able to go in for the kill when the enemy was weak, bringing a game to a swifter conclusion.

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Re: Ideas for new game modes

Post#4 » 03 Feb 2016, 16:29

Hi and thanks for the suggestions!

King of the hill and Capture the flag are two possible game objectives that we have often considered developing. They are both very interesting and as you say they offer completely different situations.

They may be included with future game updates, but I can't promise when/how.

Since we are talking about game modes and different scenarios, another one which is being considered is one in which the map already contains pre-existing independent forces (locals, e.g. partisans) which hold key resources. They are neutral.. until provoked. So the player or players who'd like to snatch those territories would first have to fight with the independents... and of course still be aware of the other player(s) not taking advantage of it.

Would you like to suggest a good name for this game mode?

Regarding fog of war resource count: actually it was done on purpose this way. Fog of war is supposed to hide as much as possible all information which you'd have no way of knowing. That's why the enemies' resource count is hidden when fog of war is enabled.

On the other hand, fog of war is shared among allies and with the use of scouting units (forward advance observation suicide scouts :D) you could by yourself count or estimate how much resources one enemy is controlling.

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Re: Ideas for new game modes

Post#5 » 03 Feb 2016, 18:15

As I say, I feel the lack of knowledge of opponent's revenue and military strength will surely lead to longer game times in fog-of-war battles.

When we played fog-of-war yesterday, I think we were on something like Turn 17 when play stopped, and with a few turns probably left to play before someone would achieve a victory condition. We were playing the battle for what, an hour and a half or something to get to that point?

It looks as though battles with current fog-of-war rules could regularly go to 20 turns or more. I'd like to see an option to play a fog-of-war game that could be typically completed within half that time, so under an hour's play for even a long game.

The other two existing game modes are going to produce even longer battles - in Decapitation one has a moveable HQ and in Capture the Flag one has to bring a flag home after capturing the enemy HQ.

By all means, have the option of longer games, but also have battles that can be completed in a quicker time by having:

- game modes with victory conditions that can be achieved more easily (such as the modes I described above)

- an option to reduce the number of turns in which players get reinforcement points (currently its 15).

- allowing knowledge of each player's resource yields and total army strength in fog-of-war mode.

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Re: Ideas for new game modes

Post#6 » 03 Feb 2016, 19:33

I agree on modes allowing faster battles, but not to the idea of showing resources on fog of war.
The unknown of what is the effective strength of enemies under fog of war is in my opinion an integral part of the fog of war setting in games.

We will (it has always been in the design plans) at a certain point introduce an "advanced custom settings", with the possibility to specify both the number of turns when reinforcements stop (which you were also suggesting; currently set to the boardgame default value of 15) and also the initial allowance to be spent for the army (currently 24 points).

Right now we had to compromise, as too many custom options for a new game would only confuse the players.

On the other hand, for fast battles, you could try the "no reinforcements" custom match setting which, even combined with fog of war, would produce a fast tactical match.

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