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 Turn order ...


 Some games turn is one full side gose, then the other sides full force gose, easy to keep track of but first shooting or alpha strike army's can make this a kinda lopsided go of it ...


Some alternate unit activation witch keeps both sides active and reduces overwhelming fire but leads to several smaller units trying to bleed out the 'activations' of the other player before throwing out an end cap ... their big shooty unit going last one turn then first the next to effectively double tap ...


 Some have randome activation (colored dice in draw bag) or dice for following activation with command roll ... both good options ... 


 Other popular turn structures ?


Turn mechanics ...


You know, player A rolls to hit, then rolls to wound then player B rolls to save wounds then maybe a moral check ...


I was thinking of cutting this down to 

Player A rolls for hits ... player B saves vs wounds (putting wound modifiers and armor modifiers together in one roll) with a possible moral roll ... 


Kinga of war also has a kiss system but player A rolls to hit, to wound, and against player Bs moral value on his turn with player B making all rolls on his turn ... 


 So I have been working on a semi randome  (with some player influence) unit activation system with the player A rolling to hit with B save but now wondering if active player making all roll would be more or less intuitive ?

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It's 2018, and a turn sequence with a concrete step-by-step order is outright archaic.  Such as: everything moves now, then everything shoots, then everything melees, etc.  Or one player doing nothing while the other player takes their full turn.  I won't even consider playing one seriously.


Either alternating activation, or some way of reacting to the enemy (with real combat reactions, not just basic overwatch) is mandatory. Come up with solutions to things you see as problems. For example if you're worried about double actions, put a counter on the last unit activated and say it can't activate first next turn.  Also consider that there are also situations where doing the exact opposite is just as useful, such leaving an ECM bubble in effect for the maximum amount of time in CAV.  One could argue that correctly manipulating activation order is a legitimate tactical decision, and if my only consideration when activating units is "how can my beatstick get a double activation" then the rules are likely too shallow.


There was a kickstarter project last year (some English civil war game) that had a neat bluffing system, where players secretly chose their next unit to activate using cards.  Certain unit types moved before others, thus if you knew what your opponent would do first you could effectively counter it and steal initiative, although everything got a turn eventually.


If you want to see meaningful reactions beyond overwatch, see Saga second edition.  Depending on how hard the enemy is pushing their troops you can disrupt their movement or attack ability, or outright cancel them (fatigue system), or use any number of advanced reaction abilities (all with limitations to prevent overuse).  I'd say that's the main thing that makes Saga 2 great: you can go beyond normal limitations, but there's a meaningful cost in doing so, which leads to difficult tactical decisions.


Edited by Jeneki
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But I'm looking for that balance between simple game play and a good range of player options ... high detail small model count games are certainly a blast with a load of special rules and action options but I want to go bigger ... 30-60 minis per side typical with 100-200 per side not breaking the system ... streamlining the system but keeping a good game feel is one key and for a lot of reasons.


 For turn initiative a randome card to each unit (face down till activared) counting down from ace ... a unit could 'hold' by not flipping their card but wait to act with a better initiative number, and even save up a few by waiting till ready to surge (within limits) with the commander getting a few extra to traid in initiative phase or command roll to use as a form of interrupt shouted order ... a psychic would get a few extra to manipulate things some as well as some specialist getting one or two extra to activate abilities , like medic, artillery spotter, drone pilot,  ect ... mostly randome activation with some player control through commanders ...


But with the actual units action resolution , active player move (posible interrupt reaction) active player fire ... attacker roll to wound (includes armor / toughnesd mod as well as weapon strength /penitration mods) or defender roll to save wounds (same mods above but other player rolling dice)  ...


 Interrupt reaction options would depend on unit status, already acted / still on hold (action card unused yet) / unit on ambush (ready to fire or charge on targets of opportunity) / fast units held to evaid / ect ...

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4 hours ago, Boaz said:

But I'm looking for that balance between simple game play and a good range of player options ... high detail small model count games are certainly a blast with a load of special rules and action options but I want to go bigger ... 30-60 minis per side typical with 100-200 per side not breaking the system ... streamlining the system but keeping a good game feel is one key and for a lot of reasons.


Out of curiosity what table size are you aiming for?



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4×6 is pretty common ... 4×8 is good too ... 4×6 starts to get crowded after the first hundred per side , but have squeezed around 200 on one side a few times and could still slog forward , though this is a lil model heavy ... 4×6 seems great for 30-60-90 per side (elite - regular - hoard) ...

Edited by Boaz
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Marvel's current(?) Superhero RPG has a cool mechanic where each character chooses the next character to act. So you can blitz through all of your characters, but that means that they get to use all of theirs and then they get to choose one of theirs to go first next turn and then they can double-blitz you back.

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Some interesting tactics come to mind , forcing enimy models to commit to an action before you heavy hitter and all ... but how many models on the table top ? 10 or more units with some having heavy fire power can wreak an opponent if too much is unleashed at one time ... 


 I have broke too many games with over weelming firepower and am looking to let players play a shooty army (or punchy army) but limit overweelming opponentas with force selection and aim at battle field command.



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 Some hang my head moments I'm looking to not repeat ...


 500 point WH40K in 40 min turny ... I bring an Eldar force with 52 strength 6 shots ... one player makes it past turn 2.


 2000 point space marine force with 32 lazcanon  behind void shields ... and lots of Bolters , all in cover ...


 Dark angel librarian with jump pack and warp field generator with jump squad escorting epic tanks / knights / titans ... 4+ save baneblades ? 


 Or probably one of my worst, challenging the shop to bring any 3000 point army against my 2000 point or gun line ... (2nd edition) ... 8 pulsa rockets (6 fired 1st turn, 2 held to fill gaps for turn 2) , 5 laz canon , 20 nob hv bolters ... one player maid it to turn two ...


 And many others ... building a overweelming army is in a way masterfully cunning , but it robs you of a good game, so much sweeter is the game played on a knifes edge , coming down to the last few moves ...  by braking up an army into alternating unit activations of some sort I'm hoping for a good balanced game without the overweelming fire power for the win ...


 And not all gun lines ... the Eldar 52 strength 6 shot force was probably the most mobile force in the turny ... as was the Eldar warp spider / sniper exarch with mini laz cannon force (2nd edition doom) ...

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One of my favorite activation systems is from Wargods of Aegyptus (and Olympus as well). Who goes first in a turn is determined by a dice off between the players Harbingers (warband leader for all intents and purposes). Units are activated one at a time and the choice is alternated between the players till all units have had an action. The slick part is the player determines which unit should be moved and can select either one of his units or one of his opponents units. 


Orders are assigned to each unit, then the players dice off for initiative. If I go first I could choose one of my units to move first or select one of yours. The key is to activate the unit that benefits you the most, like selecting an opponent's ranged unit and perhaps (depending on its order) getting them to fire while out of range. My opponent would then select a unit and the cycle repeats until all units have completed their order.

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I'm currently working on a system that has card activation similar to Warlord, but uses leaders in a similar manner to Warmaster.   Leaders don't really fight, but instead use abilities to make other units more effective.  

One of the key abilities in the game will be called suppression, which is similar to 40k's overwatch (at least 40k's 2nd edition overwatch - I haven't played since then).   It is used by units to control the battlefield. 

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In Pulp Ally has a pretty different initiative system.  Whoever has initiative chooses who activates next and continue to do so until something takes that initiative away .  For instance , an opponent grabbing an objective or having one of his models worsted in a shootout or fight would give the initiative to that opponent.

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The game I play the most is Armies of Arcana. It was designed to give a Warhammer style game without a bunch of things that annoyed players about Warhammer. The way it's turn order goes is like this.


Roll initiative -High roller chooses to go first or second. There are times when moving after your opponent is an advantage.

Compulsory moves - Fleeing units, units in melee with a fleeing unit or berserk units that have to charge are moved. The first player moves their's and then the second player moves their's.

Normal movement - First player moves his entire army then second player moves their entire army. There are no charge bonuses for being the guy that moves into contact on their turn because it's assumed both sides are moving or getting ready to be charged. One of my least favourite Warhammer moments was when I misjudged the distance on my move went a 1/2" too far and had half my army wiped out on my friend's turn when he charged me. 

Magic phase - First player casts his spells and casualties are removed but kept track of for each unit hurt. Second player does the same but any of their magic users that were just killed may still use their spells.

Shooting phase - Same as magic. First player shoots, casualties removed. Second player shoots and can use any models that were just killed in the shooting phase.

Melee phase - Units with a special first strike ability get to attack first and their opponents don't get to attack back unless they have the same ability. Units with normal attacks use them. Casualties are removed at the same time.

Morale phase - Break tests are made for units that took enough casualties modified by all the models they lost through the entire turn. 


What I like about it is that every model gets it's actions (if it survives long enough). I tend to roll terrible in games like SOBH where you roll to see if/how many models do things. Casualties are removed at the same time in each phase so who goes first isn't so important. Hate when my army is wiped out without a response and sometimes it's a little dull when I do it to my opponent.

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