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Who's turn is it?

 Post subject: Who's turn is it?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:50 am 
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I think one of the main reasons why I am drawn to Necromunda is the concept of the single turn for both players. The turn is divided into phases where each player is allowed to take turns doing things based solely on initiative.

Now I am talking about developing new games, so please don’t correct me if you think I am talking about Necromunda. While the idea of taking turns works well in games like 40K and Warhammer, I don’t think they are as realistic as the single turn for all. It allows both players to move or shoot around the same time much like in real combat. On the smaller scale it allows for grappling to occur which I feel is much more realistic then the ‘I take a swing and you take a swing’ idea.

My question for all is: Do you think the single turn for both players adds more confusion to a game? Is it worth it? Should it depend on the scale of the game or can one get away with it on a larger scale?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:41 am 
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Unctuous Toady
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Welcome to the Eastern Fringe, Leodinas.

I think that big advantage of initiative systems where a player moves all his forces at once is in terms of speed and simplicity. You are less likely to forget to move/activate a unit if you do your whole side at once. It also speeds up the game as a whole.

Systems with alternating initiative where players take turns activating units have a lot of advantages. But it seems that it makes that game a bit more complicated, the training wheels come off so to speak. Suddenly you are dealing with a bit of record keeping as players work to keep track of what units have gone. In smaller games this shouldn't be a problem, but at things get too large then you need to start marking units with chits or something. Personally I like the keep the number of chits on the board to a minimum just for esthetics.

Alternating activation works best when both sides have the same number of units. If one side dramatically out numbers their opponent then you have to group units in some way. Some times I've seen the grouping system (or lack of a system) abused by players. Good guidelines should be set down.

A novel twist to alternating unit activation is the ability to activate any unit on the board, including those of other players. The owning player still moves the unit as normal, you just have the option of activating them. That makes for a very fluid and complex game where players strategies must be very flexible. Warzone first edition was the first game that I encountered that used this system.

Another little twist that I've seen to make the alternating activation system more dynamic is used in Heavy Gear Miniatures. In that game players take turns activating units, but any unit which as not been activated already is basically on overwatch. Or to put it another way, an unactivated unit can sacrifice its own activation to interrupt the movement of the other player. This creates a very dynamic environment where even during your turn you have to consider enemy fire. I've also thought that his method would be a good one to use for games like Necromunda when you tried to play them in doors or in the corridors of spaceships and such. Though perhaps making the opportunity fire slightly less accurate than regular shooting would help things from becoming a giant stand off.

Also, for what its worth in the previous example of using interrupts for non-activated units, I think that shooting was the main option available. Movement certainly wasn't, but I think that you might have been able to call for fire or transmit targeting information instead of shooting. I'm not sure if that is how Heavy Gear Miniatures does it, but it seems like something worth exploring.

Well I hope that helps. I'm not sure if I've completely answered the quesiton. But I think that I've thrown a lot of feul on the fire perhaps.


Truckler

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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: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:49 am 
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Me personally, I am not so hip on the "I go, U go" way of doing it anymore.

I really like the idea Warzone had of a player being able to activate any unit on the table, including the enemies. However I to don't like to use chits that much. But marking the units with different colored dice or something similar isn't to terrible.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:39 am 
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I used to consider the igougo system very artificial, but its not really much more so than other systems. It has the HUGE advantage in simplicity; when playing Vor, I found it easy to forget which units had been activated that turn or not. Truckler also gave a good description of the other weaknesses of "alternate activation".
I think it really boils down to the scale, setting, and flavor of the game you want. I think that an ideal blend might be a hybrid system, using overwatch / forced delay / pinning / morale / special tactics and command rules that upset basic activation order in an IGOUGO game. But as soon as you do this, you need chits on the tabletop, unless you have very few models / units!

Actually, wizkids clicky games take an interesting tack here. Each player just gets to activate one model (or linked group of models) in thier turn. If they have a lot of models, they won't get to use them all unless they "link" them, but there is also a penalty for activating the same model / group twice in a row. I think a more advanced version of this could offer a lot of possibilities...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Humongus wrote:
I used to consider the igougo system very artificial, but its not really much more so than other systems. It has the HUGE advantage in simplicity; when playing Vor, I found it easy to forget which units had been activated that turn or not. Truckler also gave a good description of the other weaknesses of "alternate activation".
I think it really boils down to the scale, setting, and flavor of the game you want. I think that an ideal blend might be a hybrid system, using overwatch / forced delay / pinning / morale / special tactics and command rules that upset basic activation order in an IGOUGO game. But as soon as you do this, you need chits on the tabletop, unless you have very few models / units!

Actually, wizkids clicky games take an interesting tack here. Each player just gets to activate one model (or linked group of models) in thier turn. If they have a lot of models, they won't get to use them all unless they "link" them, but there is also a penalty for activating the same model / group twice in a row. I think a more advanced version of this could offer a lot of possibilities...


I think, as Humongus says, it all depends upon what you want out of your game. Perhaps the "clicky games" system of activating only one unit with the option to link units could be simulated for other (hopefully more complicated) games. Some games do this with a special trait or movement option where certain leader type units an active or "give orders" to other unit(s).

The idea of only being able to activate a single unit seems like an interesting idea. I'm not sure its exactly what I want in most miniature games, it doesn't seem realistic for something like Necromunda or Inquisitor. But maybe if you could limit players from simply always moving their most valuable/powerful miniature every turn then it could be an interesting system?


Truckler

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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 Oct 31, 2006 3:40 pm 
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Humongus wrote:
Actually, wizkids clicky games take an interesting tack here. Each player just gets to activate one model (or linked group of models) in thier turn. If they have a lot of models, they won't get to use them all unless they "link" them, but there is also a penalty for activating the same model / group twice in a row. I think a more advanced version of this could offer a lot of possibilities...


I'm not sure what you're talking about here. I play/played most of the clix games and none of them limit you to only activating a single unit per turn. It sounds as if you are mish mashing few of the games together.

In most of the clix games each player gets a number of activations per turn which is based on the points value of the army. The standard rule is 1 activation per 100 points. So if you're playing a 400 point battle (a pretty small battle) then each player will conduct up to 4 activations per turn. If a unit is activated twice in a row (ie:on two subsequent turns) without being given the opportunity to "rest" then they are considered "pushed" and incur a click of damage to themselves. If a unit has become pushed then it must rest next turn and take no actions. Sometimes opponents can take advantage of these frozen units.

In Mechwarrior you can organize multiple units together to form "formations". The benefit is a single activation will allow you to move and shoot with the entire formation. I assume this is what you are referring to when you are referring to linked groups. None of the other clix games use formations.

All in all it's is a pretty decent activation mechanic which offers many tactical nuances. You have the ability to activate some, but not all of your troops on your turn. If you deem it necessary you can push your units to get more actions out of them, but it hurts them. Some special abilities and powers allow to activate units for free or more often.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:05 pm 
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Holden8- yeah, the formations are what I was refering to. I was just going of my reading (~4 years ago) of Mage Knight rules, and watching a few various games. I didn't realise must games used multiple activations per player turn.

An intersting posability would be to have variable numbers of activations per player turn. This could be based on a races or generals stratedgy rating, allowing (say) stratedgy + d3 activations per player turn.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:34 pm 
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i have actually playtested, but only once, some rules for necromunda where there were no individual turns as such but each model was moved in order base on a 'sequence score' which was calculated for each model as leadership+initiative. if some models had same number, which they often did in early games, roll D6 to determine order.

it worked quite well but it did add a lot of complexity that isnt really needed IMO


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