Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kristof65

What is your favorite miniatures game rule mechanic?

Recommended Posts

Like the title says, What is your favorite miniatures game rule mechanic? And why?

 

I'm not asking about your favorite rule set, but your favorite mechanic within a rule set. 

 

and if you have mroe than one, talk about them all. 

 

For example:

 

"I like the way game X handles initiative because...."

 

or 

 

"I like the way army building is handled in game Y because..."

 

Conversely, if you want to talk about mechanics you hate, and why, I'd love to hear that, too. 

 

I posted this in the Sci-Fi section not because I'm looking at only Sci-Fi examples, but simply because I had to pick somewhere relevant, and this was as good as a place as the General Fantasy or or General Modern sub-forums. 

 

I'm just trying to get a discussion going about what people like and don't like about various miniature games. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one of mine:

 

I liked the Activation mechanic Howard Whitehouse used in the Alien War rule set he wrote for Defiance Games.  I liked it because it gave commandeers and NCOs on the battlefield a role in the stragety and tactics a player had to use in the game, and it's inclusion of the "What the !?!" tables allowed terrain and random events to be a real factor in the game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find this to be a very difficult question to answer, as I view rulesets in their entirety.  After all, a mechanic that works well in one game may be an abysmal fit for another, depending on how the various other rules interact with it.

 

That said, I do recall the "alternating action" style of play was what drew my interest to Warzone over W40K.  Wargames where there isn't that kind of back-and-forth reaction seem very "swingy", as the entirety of one side acts before I can react.  I really liked the idea of being able to counter an enemy's move with a squad of my own, as it makes the battle more fluid and dynamic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Zombicide, a zombie will move in as straight a line as possible to the nearest survivor he can see.

In cases where two survivors are equidistant and can be reached equally easily by the zombie... the zombie will experience spontaneous binary fission. He will split into TWO zombies, and go after BOTH survivors.

Now THAT's hardcore.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and it's inclusion of the "What the !?!" tables allowed terrain and random events to be a real factor in the game. 

On a related note, I've always been fond of "fog of war" cards, rolls, etc. They have been a staple of tabletop gaming for decades, but to my mind they have always represented a more tangible, less abstract form of randomization for any game. There are times when I question dice mechanics as suitable determinates for combat resolution. But fog of war cards always make sense to me, and they can really mess everything up in a delightful way.

 

As to answering your question more directly, I like Focus/Fury in Warmahordes. At its heart, it's just another form of resource management, but I like the variety they've integrated into its use. There's a lot more utility to the mechanic in terms of changing up your strategy from round to round.

Edited by Bruunwald
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find this to be a very difficult question to answer, as I view rulesets in their entirety.  After all, a mechanic that works well in one game may be an abysmal fit for another, depending on how the various other rules interact with it.

I understand completely. And I know that even though a specific mechanic is cool and works well in one game, that very same mechanic may completely break another game.

 

Still, I ask, because sometimes it's a rule mechanic that catches people's attention and memory, even though it's the overall interaction of all the mechanics that determines if a rule set is any good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was also pretty partial to the Night Goblin Fanatic rules back in older editions of Warhammer.  I had an Orc and Goblin army at one point that was famous in my game circle for its unpredictability, and when a unit of Night Goblins releases their fanatics, they will speed across the table like buzzsaws, doing insane damage to any troop blocks they hit. Trouble is, if the dice aren't with you, they'll veer wrong and rip right through your own troops, or even the same unit of Night Goblins that released them...

It is especially hilarious to me that Night Goblins are pretty much useless in combat against most other forces, and have no real purpose on the battlefield except to hide Night Goblin Fanatics in...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also a fan of focus/fury, although they are really two distinctly different mechanics. I appreciate they both require a certain amount of pre-planning, and both come with specific drawbacks for planning poorly. What I like more, though, are the various mechanics that manipulate focus and fury outside your caster/lock.

 

An example: Eiryss and eAbsylonia both have the ability to remove focus or fury from an opponent. This forces a very real difference in how one plays into those characters.

 

PLylyth has a spell that prevents Fury manipulation on a beast. Against focus-based opponents, this spell is largely useless; against fury-based armies, it is a very nice piece of resource denial.

 

My favorite mechanic in Warmahordes not related to foc/fur is probably Ambush, which allows you to place a unit or solo with the ability on any table edge at any point after the game starts. Ideally, this creates a bit of "invisible terrain," as it encourages your opponent to avoid committing forces within charge range of a table edge. Obviously it's an advantage for the player fielding the ambushing unit, but playing against it is also interesting. So far, nothing with ambush seems to break the game, but it makes for some cool gameplay.

 

I also like the initiative system of Warlord, which allows a random activation order between both sides. I may activate a unit, then my opponent, and back and forth, or I may get to activate all but one unit beforemy opponent goes. The one time I played WL, that was pretty cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For initiative I prefer either deck or alternating activation.

 

For dice I've been on a kick lately for scaling die mechanics, both with and without exploding dice.

 

I generally prefer roll vs. target number over opposed rolls, though opposed can be appropriate in certain situations

 

I like damage tracks like RAGE uses, but in larger games that can get cumbersome, but I generally dislike multiple life points/hit points/whatever you want to call it without some kind of degradation of ability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite mechanic is out of Wargods of Aegyptus. Play is done in an alternating activation, i.e. I move a unit, you move a unit except with an elegant twist. A player can pick any unit on the board that has not been activated including one his opponent's units. Keeps your mind focused on the game because sometimes the best unit to move is not one of your own.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like deck draw initiative in all the forms I've played. I always have fun roleplaying why a unit was fast or slow on a particular turn. 

 

Warmachine/Hordes: Using grabbed units as a melee/thrown weapon. Got your huge unkillable unit in between me and your caster? Thats ok I'll just throw your guy at him.

 

Opposing die rolls. Sitting at a table for 15 minutes while the regional champ makes twenty 1 inch moves is boring. Getting to take a reaction shot or at least get the feeling of actively defending myself on their turn makes it way more fun. 

 

Co-op mode. If everyone wins, I could almost care less about the mechanics. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some favourites:

 

Ares dice mechanic. Size of your dice represents how good you are. Roll versus roll. Win = 1 point of damage, double = 2 points, etc. You can basically run a simple skirmish or dungeon crawl with just that dice mechanic and virtually nothing else.

 

Defiance has some really nice play on deck-draw initiative. Normally you have to draw your exact card for that exact unit. But commanders also get cards, which they assign before every game turn (ie, full run-through of the initiative deck), and subordinate commanders get cards, but only for the unit they're in. Finally, armies can purchase advantages for initiative draw, for example, "Fluidity" lets you activate another unit, instead of the one drawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the DB* method of moving only 1d6 units or formations per turn. Allows interesting risk:reward calculations, limits the number of fiddly moves each turn, and rewards maintaining a formed army.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite mechanic is out of Wargods of Aegyptus. Play is done in an alternating activation, i.e. I move a unit, you move a unit except with an elegant twist. A player can pick any unit on the board that has not been activated including one his opponent's units. Keeps your mind focused on the game because sometimes the best unit to move is not one of your own.

I've always liked that, too, and suddenly your avatar makes total sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Infinity has a tag line of "it's always your turn"

 

They mean it, for the most part, your force reacts to whatever the enemy does during his turn at the same time that they are actually doing the action.

 

You never sit by idle while your opponent does his turn.

 

Fantastic mechanic all the way around.

 

Makes you really pay attention to the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Heisler
      I have been working on my wild west town of Calamity for a long time. I have managed to acquire a number of different rules for Wild West miniatures during the course of working through the build. I recently did a review of the different rule sets that I have managed to accumulate over the last couple of years. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing some of the myriad of rules that are out there for the wild west.
       
      These posts aren't reviews in the sense of whether I like the rules or not but more of a breakdown on how the game works and its basic mechanics.
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-boot-hill-tsr.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-dead-mans-hand-great.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-desperado-knuckleduster.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-fistful-of-lead.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-legends-of-old-west.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-rules-with-no-name.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-shoot-n-skedaddle.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-gutshot-hawgleg.html
       
      http://wargamesandrailroads.blogspot.com/2016/06/wild-west-rules-compilation.html
       
      I tried not to be biased towards any specific set of rules because I know that people are not necessarily looking for the same thing that I am in a set of rules. For example if I was going to run a campaign more in line with an RPG, I would probably use Gutshot it just provides that extra level of detail that would really make a western RPG really pop. For more general shoot 'em up fun I would personally lean towards Shoot N' Skedaddle or Fistful of Lead; Reloaded.
      There is a western RPG out there called Aces and Eights by Kenzer Co and I do own it but I didn't include it here as it really is a true RPG Western game and I find that I have difficulty working my way through it. I also left out Deadlands for much the same reason although I'm a huge fan of the original system and still own most of the books for it.
       
       
       
       
  • Who's Online   11 Members, 2 Anonymous, 45 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...