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100% chances of success, always a bad thing?

 Post subject: 100% chances of success, always a bad thing?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:49 am 
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Unctuous Toady
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In most miniature games I that I can think of, you always have a change to fail. A natural roll of a 1 misses in most games. Similarly a two or more is generally required to wound or damage things on most games, no matter how powerful the attack versus how feeble the target. In the game Vor, is specifically states that 1s always fail.

Is this a good thing or should there be circumstances where success is absolutely certain?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:21 am 
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Personally i like the excitement and sometimes craziness that results from a natural 1 always failing. Not sure i can justify it in any lucid rational way but for me guarenteed success has no place in wargaming.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:31 am 
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KopMcginty wrote:
Personally i like the excitement and sometimes craziness that results from a natural 1 always failing. Not sure i can justify it in any lucid rational way but for me guarenteed success has no place in wargaming.



Hey, no need to try and rationalize things into some super detailed and air-tight description of reality. The idea is to have an enjoyable game, too much attention to 'realism' is a sure way to ruin a fun game. I know plenty of really fun games, but few of them are realistic in any substantial way.

Besides, most people have no actual experience with actual hand to hand combat or real life firefights. The level of realism that most players and game designers are familiar with has more to do with Hollywood movies and TV shows than anything else.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:36 am 
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I disagree. I think there are places where %100 success is fine. 40k has several auto-wound weapons (or in did in the 'good' version, a remark certain to start an arguement or two. Have them in the Warhammer 40k forum, please). Armor saves could also be 100% success (Abbadon's armor will protect him from any and all autogun hits). There are auto fails (S4 weapons fail 100% of the time to wound T8 or higher), I think auto passes are fine. I wouldn't use them too often, but I think they do have a place.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:25 am 
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As I recall from playing Vor (which I did a lot of) a 1 was only a failure when attacking, and in those cases it was a "critical failure" that ended your turn. For wounding rolls, 1's could succeed if the attack was powerful enough.

Neither here nor there, just a nitpick.

Most games have a LOT of actions that can automatically succeed, in the form of things you don't even test for. Movement, target selection, and so on are often automatic. I think throwing in a chance for attacks to always fail ofsets what otherwise is unrealistic omniscience / reliability, and ads an enjoyable (and realistic) "Murfy's Law" element.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:58 pm 
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for things like Strength V. Toughness I think there could be a few automatic passes. For things like rolling to hit, I think a 1 should always fail.
Because:
You can always mess up when you're trying to shoot/hit something in combat. Sometimes you'll stumble, maybe something will distract you, but there's NEVER an automatic hit in reality. When it comes to wounding, however it's different. There are circumstances where a strong character/weapon would ALWAYS wound something.
Ex:If you smack a bunny with a sledgehammer, it's going to get hurt 100% of the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:46 pm 
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flamingmonkey923 wrote:
Ex:If you smack a bunny with a sledgehammer, it's going to get hurt 100% of the time.



What if you just hits its tail? hurt yes, but wound, no. Rationalizing a rule can go both ways ex :

"Sometimes some people are so skilled, they will never stumble, and nothing can distract them. For these kinds ov people automatic hits are a natural. But there's NEVER an automatic wound in reality.There are circumstances where no matter how strong a character/weapon is, the hit is just in the wrong spot to cause a wound..."

Look at the rationalizations made in 40k between 2nd edition and 3rd edition.

for example 'facing'. 2nd edition says something like sometimes a soldier can be facing in the wrong direction and cant see anyone to attack....

...and 3rd edition says soldiers are always aware enough to be able to shoot in any direction.

What one is more realistic?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:26 am 
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I think the question is not one of realism (that's a slippery area where few people ever agree 100%), but a question of style and feel.

When designing a miniature game (or any game) you have to determine why style of battles you want to have and what sort of feel game play should have. So for example a heroic fantasy game featuring dueling knights might down play missile fire or use simplified rules for it. Meanwhile a game about space bounty hunters modelled after the old west will most certainly have much more involved rules about shooting, and possibly go into quick draw rules and very involved game mechanics depicting how and where a fighter is shot.

Returning to the fantasy games lets contrast two separate fantasy games. A game of medieval knights smashing each other in heavy armor will be quite different than a game featuring swashbuckling duelists modelled after the Three Musketeers. In the knightly game you might has stats that determine a knights courage, valor and honor. Maybe a knight can make a special saving throw to resist losing thier last wound by passing a Valor check or something. The rules for knightly combat would focus on pretty straight forward bashing, the interesting bits would be how the knights heroic virtues allowed them to overcome the dictates of mundane reality. Meanwhile the musketeers game would need all kinds of fancy dueling rules with the option for players to execute daring stunts and feats of sword mastery and fancy foot work.

A person could argue that one system was more realistic than the other, but that would be missing the point. The intention of each system is to focus on a different style of combat, each with its own feel.

So maybe a system where wounding wasn't automatic would be appropriate for a game of heroic fantasy featuring heroes like John Carter of Mars or Conan the Barbarian. These are the types of heroes who battle a dozen or more men and pull through with minor nicks and cuts all over, but they never suffer any major wounds. That could be simulated with a system in which rolls to wound/damage models are never automatic.

Conversely, a game that featured highly advanced sci-fi weaponry like in Star Trek or Paranoia might have a system where some shots just automatically wound. After all, some of the weapons in those to setting just high you and you glow bright for a second before your nothing but vapors! :eek:

So after reading everyone's comments and thinking about it while writing this reply, I'm going to say that it depends upon the objectives of the game.


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Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:38 pm 
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i play necromunda and i think theat 100% wounds should be more frequent. for example ive had a guy take no damage at all from a successful heavy plasma gun blast. it doesnt happen very often but it does occationally and i think its pure nonsense that anyone could survive the hit.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:19 am 
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I think pretty much every game out there has many actions that succeed automatically. In 40k, when moving a unit over open ground you succeed 100% of the time. The distance that any given unit can move in a turn is clearly defined and it only varies when entering difficult terrain. However, in the Warmaster system a unit could be moved numerous times in one turn (depending on the command rolls). A unit could dash across the entire battlefield in one turn if you roll well enough.

Should there be circumstances where success is absolutely certain? Yes. I think it's mandatory (unless you want to play a pure chance game like snakes and ladders).

I think the real question you have to ask yourself is - which circumstances in the game (if any) will you allow a chance of automatic success?

As a rule I prefer it if there is always some small chance of failure. I've been playing a lot of Federation Commander lately (Star Trek tactical starship combat). In that game, if you position your ship close enough to an enemy vessel, you can score automatic hits with your weapons. I love the game system, but it always feels a bit too "gamey" that you can drive right up on the enemy knowing that you will hit and score a precise amount of damage.

I think that if your chances of succeed are assured, then the extent of your success should be randomized. For example: when a chariot smashes into an enemy unit in Warhammer Fantasy Battle, automatic impact hits are scored. However the number of hits scored is determined by rolling 1d6 (usually).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:22 am 
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Danger Mouse wrote:
i play necromunda and i think theat 100% wounds should be more frequent. for example ive had a guy take no damage at all from a successful heavy plasma gun blast. it doesnt happen very often but it does occationally and i think its pure nonsense that anyone could survive the hit.


then again in necro, i invisage in necro a hit it actually a hit, as you have to roll to wound a hit which fails to wounds (but pins) could represent most any circumstance, the shots runs close but the gangers jumps to the floor and cowers, or the shot hits the floor / wall/ bulk head, throwing up dust and shrapnel all around, stunning the fighter momentarily.

SO in necro to hit doesn't mean its wounds, there for there shouldn't be autowounds, the randomness represents the gritty fighters and gritty surrounds, loose pipes, rubble. its NOT like they are fighting on a football pitch.

Autofails are fine, super weak weapons will not hurt a tank or a monster. automissing to hit.. hmm everyone should have a chance of hitting and to reverse that everyone should have a chance to miss.
so hitting in cc or shooting should never be a certain.

autosucseed?? hmm occasionally but not often, autofail yes in extreme circumstances.

I am all for randomness.
after playing a zombie scenario and have my boss survive round after rounds with zombies by passing armour checks or rolling one for wounds, randomness is what makes this make magical and heroic,.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:43 am 
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I have been playing GHQ's Modern Micro Armour a lot. (yeah, that is where i have been). In that game, anytime an attacker's Firepower value is greater then the defenders Armour Value by +9 or more, the defender is automaticly eliminated.

It is really the only way that the difference between high tech tanks like the M1A2 and low tech tanks like the Iraqi Type 69's could be realisticly potrayed. The M1A2 still needs to pass a leadership test to take the action and shoot, but it doesn't need to roll to attack.

If the M1A2 can shoot at the Iraqi tank, just remove the Iraqi tank from play. (And the M1A2 can shoot twice per turn, if it makes both leadership tests).

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Last edited by mortishroom on Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:47 am 
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All of the games I make or modify have some automatic successes in them.

2nd edition 40K had automatic successes when shooting flamers and a certain piece of Ork field artillery, in that you didn't need to roll to hit. I disagree with those rules. In my interpretation of the game, flamers get a +2 to hit modifier.
Also, certain close combats in 2nd edition were a more or less foregone conclusion. Weapon skill 2 with 1 attack versus weapon skill 7, 4 attacks and a parry. All there is to work out is how many times the weapon skill 2 combatant is hit.

I changed the 40K rules so that a weapon with 4 or more points of strength in excesss of the target's toughness automatically wounds. I interpret that the roll to hit has established that the target has indeed been hit (not grazed or nicked harmlessly) and that a hit with a sufficienty powerful weapon is guaranteed to inflict damage.

In my role-playing games, it isn't difficult for a skilled person to get into a situation where they are guaranteed to hit their target.
Using my relatively cheap crossbow in real life, I have never missed my approximately 600mmx600mm target, shooting at it from ranges of 15-20 metres. If I fired at the target from a greater range, or if my target sprouted legs and ran off, or if it shrunk, or if I was distracted by being shot at myself, I'm sure I'd miss all the time.
But the point is, under the right circumstances, when all the contributing factors are in your favour, you won't miss, or the chances of a miss or a malfunction are simply not worth rolling for.

So I think it's important for any game that takes itself seriously, to adequately represent the relevant contributing factors that exist within the setting the game replicates.

Also I disagree with the idea of always having a chance of failure just for the sake of it.

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You have an L-85A2. Trials showed that they have an approximately 1 in 15,000 stoppage rate. Every time you fire a round, roll a D15,000 to see if your L-85A2 jams.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:53 am 
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I've addressed this issue with a quick house rule in my necromunda games;

standing by the default tables you are sure not to wound a target if its toughness is 4 points greater of your strenght;

what I've done basically is to introduce the 7+ rule that already exists for shooting in wounding, and I did it applied to both sides (not being able to wound, and being able not to wound);

always looking at the default necromunda wounding tables we see that for toughness values of n+2 and n+3 toughness (given "n" is the attack' strenght) we have the same 6+ roll to wound;

so, starting from there I changed the +6, +6 wounding and went like this (where "n" is the attack strenght and after the slash is the target's toughness relative to said strenght):


n/n-6 = automatically wounded
n/n-5 = "-1+" (ie: 1 followed by 1 to avoid being wounded)
n/n-4 = "0+" (ie: 1 followed by 1-2 to avoid being wounded)
n/n-3 = "1+" (ie: 1 followed by 1-3 to avoid being wounded)
n/n-2 = 2+
n/n-1 = 3+
n/n = 4+
n/n+1 = 5+
n/n+2 = 6+
n/n+3 = 7+ (ie: 6 followed by 4+)
n/n+4 = 8+ (ie: 6 followed by 5+)
n/n+5 = 9+ (ie: 6 followed by 6+)
n/n+6 = impossible to wound


basically, if you shoot someone with an average T3 with a fully charged HPG shot it's a guaranteed wound, as well if you fall from a two story building (around 6") with the same average T3 you have to roll 1 followed by 1-3 not to be wounded, while if you shoot a T8 target with your average autogun you need to be very lucky to wound it, for it will be needed to roll a 6 followed by another 6 in order to achieve success...

IMO is something quickly added into the game mechanics, and using rules that we're already familiar with too, so it worked really fine for me... :)

what do you think about it..?


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