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Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  0beron on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:06 pm

Hey folks,
As I've mentioned in some of my other posts, I really like the basic framework that these rules have set up, and am doing pretty serious work touching them up and filling in gaps to make them playable in preparation for a physical (non-internet) version with some friends.
Of course I have found a smattering of grammar/spelling errors, but more importantly, there are many things in the rules that are ambiguous, so I figured there should be a thread to call attention to those, and debate how they should be interpreted. Here's a few examples:


  • If a stack has multiple units with the Leadership special, do all bonuses apply, or only the highest? (my opinion, all bonuses should apply)
  • Do units level? If so, which ones, and what changes as a result of leveling?
  • What are the specific benefits/results of choosing a favored terrain type for your side?

As far as I can tell, these are things that don't have a concrete answer, so we should consider a good way to fix the ambiguity.

0beron
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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  ReginaldMcMuffin on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:30 am

I thought it said somewhere that only the highest leadership bonus applies in a stack. Makes sense to me, otherwise there'd be an easy exploit where a stack of leadership units becomes ridiculously powerful. In this battle system, only the highest leadership in the stack counting makes sense. Still, that's because the bonus right now is additive to the unit's attack/defense, which that addition gets multiplied by the random number and other multipliers. If it was a separate multiplier/addition, it might work to do it your way. (Currently [after I fixed a few problems with the system] a stack of three units with 10 leadership can best a full stack with 2 leadership (which is difficult to do considering that the current system adds up the attack and defense of each unit to get the stack's attack/defense). If that stack of three each had 5 leadership, they could easily annihilate the full stack with 2 leadership (most of the time. The randomness does make it so it's possible for them to lose, but 95-99% of the time, the 3 stack will easily best the 8 stack).

Units do level, but to make it easier on the GMs, it's probably best if only special units and/or character units (warlords, casters, etc) level. The spreadsheet docs in the Collected rules docs should give you a good idea of what happens when leveling, but I'll explain it anyways. Basically, when you level, your upkeep increases (such that every level adds .5 of your base upkeep), your hits, attack, defense, and move increase at a rate of .1 (level 11 will have you at double the original stats). I don't agree with the huge increase of upkeep over marginal increases of stats, as that doesn't seem to keep with erfworld tradition. Increasing level seems to be of huge importance, and if it comes with that high a price, it doesn't quite seem worth it.

Benefits of favored terrain type: well, in this game, everyone has a favored terrain type, which means they start in that area, and all their units get that terrain capability, which means they get none of the harmful effects of that terrain, and they get bonuses to fighting in said terrain. Which is why a LOT of people chose mountains as their favored terrain, as it can have mines, which produce the most schmuckers, gives one of the best bonuses to defense, and with the capability, they get no minuses to move. In my opinion, something has got to change with that to make it more balanced, as mountain sides are extremely difficult to attack (unless you have the capability), and incredibly easy to defend. And can produce the most schmuckers.

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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  0beron on Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:49 am

Ah, the combat algorithm I have been using is a little more complicated, but I think it produces pretty realistic results and it makes sense:
GM rolls a die (size undetermined atm) and adds that number to each unit's combat (in the attacking Stack). Leadership and other bonuses are then added to each unit's combat individually, then the Attacking Stack's Combat is summed, then divided by the number of defending units to produce Attack Score. The Defending stack does the same process with Defense (also diving by the number of defending units) to determine Defense Score. Attack Score minus Defense score (if positive) is the number of hits sustained by the Defending Stack, distributed evenly unless the stack is led.
The Defending Stack repeats this process to make a "reprisal" and this determines the hits suffered by the attacking stack. Croaked Units are cleared from the combat, ending round one, and the process repeats with round 2, and so on.

With that system, I think it makes sense to have multiple leadership count, and it seems in keeping with the erfworld mentality of stacking bonuses, but that's just my take. Feel free to critique my formula, I'd like the input.

With leveling, I totally agree with you on both counts...Knights, Specials, and Unique Units (warlords, casters, ect) should be the only ones who actually track their levels. Also, a .1 multiplier does seem very underpowered, especially given the change in upkeep. I would recommend that Knights and Specials increase by maybe .5 of their original stats, and Unique Units get 2 points to spend as they want. Not sure what an appropriate formula would be for upkeep.

With Favored Terrain you make very good points, but I think that may balance itself in some ways...if everyone is mountain-based, then nobody really has an advantage. I know I chose mountain as my sides terrain because it makes plot-sense, but I agree people could try and abuse it...not really sure if there's much of a fix for that...except that obviously people will have to build their secondary cities in non-mountain terrain since the whole world isn't mountain haha.

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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  ReginaldMcMuffin on Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:54 pm

The rolling a dice thing could be problematic if it works the way I think it does. Having a random multiplier (current system has numbers between .5,1.5, but it probably should be .75,1.25 to make it so the randomness doesn't have too much precedent in the battle) works pretty well, as it modifies the stats based on pre-existing stats. Rest of it is good though.

Also, the current model has dancefighting and leadership as additives, whereas they are described as multipliers. Could be it would be difficult to come up with a workable model for these bonuses, but it would be nice to see it more erf-like.

I think the modifier should be at .1-.15 for stat increases. .2 would mean the stats would double every 5 levels. 18 attack increases to 36 attack by level six (Vaygr knight). So probably not that high considering that level 5 can be reached by croaking less than 10 units (any type). What I'm thinking is that the number of points your unit initially put into stats/specials affects this modifier, so that it balances in a way. Leadership and simplemancies get more powerful as things go along, so a lower modifier for them makes sense, but for someone who puts their points into stats, they should get a bit of a boost to stat increases. Personally, I think the raise in upkeep should either be something low like .05-.1 per level or abolished completely.

Well, my way of balancing it is that the terrain capability doesn't abolish all penalties, but alleviates them. Mountains would be 1.5 or 2 move for mountain capable/flying, 3 for non-capable and non-fliers, and 1 for mountain capable fliers. Also, the defense bonus is something you get for digging in, but capable units get a partial bonus normally, and the full bonus after digging in. Digging in costs 1 move for capable terrain, 2 for non-capable.

And they wouldn't necessarily have to build cities outside the mountains. Mines produce a lot of schmuckers, so they don't need a ton of cities to rely on income. They could build up a group of high move, high power units (like dwagons) and quickly lash out at other sides, and still be well protected. And with the current rules, burrowers get ambushed when they are attacking a city, so can't really go that way either. Air attack would be the best, but they'd probably be ready for that.

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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  0beron on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Hmmm, yeah I'm starting to realize that the combat system is even harder to replicate than I had originally thought....because we want to to be erf-like, yet easy to actually perform/calculate multiple times, quickly.
Here's my suggestions...
  • Dance-fighting currently applies +4 to the unit's combat. I think this should be level based, since only Knights, Specials, and Unique Units can learn the special, and we already agree they should be tracking level.
  • With leadership, the dance-fighting bonus is an ADDITIVE Bonus to the rest of the hex (if multiple dancers are leading, take the highest).
  • If the led units are dance-capable (as Rhyme-o-mancy spells allow, or if they have the Dance-fighting special but are not the lead-dancer) the bonus is instead a MULTIPLIER bonus for them.
  • Leadership should be a Multiplier bonus, to units in the leader's stack.
  • Chief Warlord bonus applies as a multiplier to all units (1/3 for all troops, 1/2 for troops in his hex, full for units in his stack)


With these adjustments, I think the following combat system would make sense:
  1. If units can participate in dance fight, multiply Combat by the dance-leader's bonus. Otherwise, add dance-bonus to Combat.
  2. Account for any magical or situational effects
  3. Sum resulting Combat scores of the attacking units
  4. Add # of units, multipled by # of units for stack bonus (unless stack is 1 unit, no bonus then)
  5. Add dice-roll or apply random number (still up for debate I suppose)
  6. Multiply result by the sum of applicable Leadership bonuses (Highest Leadership unit in stack, and applicable modified Chief Warlord bonus)
  7. Repeat above steps for defending stack, using Defense in place of Combat, and excepting the step involving Dance-fighting.
  8. The difference between the Sum Attack and Sum Defense (if positive) is the number of total hits taken by the defending stack. (distributed evenly between defending units)
  9. Clear croaked defending units
  10. Repeat process, reversing roles. The result is the number of total hits sustained by the attacking stack during their engagement.
  11. Clear croaked attacking units, and commence round 2 if combat is not over.


I'm still running simulations with the math, to see what effect order of operations has on the final numbers, but what do you think of this?


Last edited by 0beron on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  0beron on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:39 pm

On the topic of leveling up units and how it effects stats, I'm still not sure, I'll think about your ideas and see if I come up with any of my own to add.

As for terrain benefits, maybe we simply keep it the way it is now, but also generate a list of additional benefits conferred to sides who chose a given terrain as favored. For example, forest-sides gain more income from lumber-mills, or the lumber mill lasts longer before turning to a farm. And Mountain wouldn't have any extra benefit, because the terrain capability in of itself is very powerful.

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Faaaaaailllll

Post  0beron on Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:47 am

Okay, so disregard my post on the mathematics of the Combat System. I've run it several different ways, and no matter how you slice it, multiplicative bonuses don't seem to balance out. I know it's more true to cannon if Leadership and similar bonuses multiplied, but The way our mechanic is set up, that simply won't work. The combats I simulated resulted in individual units taking 60+ hits. I'm currently working on a revision, but I'll leave m earlier post as an example of what does NOT work haha.

I'm thinking that multiplicative bonuses will be unchangeable/circumstantial things that affect the unit's basic ability to fight (thus far, fate (the random #/die roll) and terrain are the only things that fall in this category), while bonuses will be additive because they represent factors within the side's control (leadership, dance-fighting, spell effects, stack size)

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New Combat Calculator!

Post  0beron on Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:11 am

Alrighty, after some tinkering, I think I've come up with a more reasonable Combat Calculator.
  1. Add terrain bonus to Combat.
  2. Multiply the result by terrain modifier if the unit has terrain capability, and multiply by the random number.
  3. Add situational modifiers: (quote used because nested lists don't work like I want them to haha)

    ~ Chief Warlord Bonus (1/3 to all units, 1/2 to units in same hex, full to units in same stack)
    ~ Highest Leadership in stack (leadership score is equal to unit's level, plus any special bonuses such as being heir/ruler)
    ~ Highest Dance-fighting bonus in stack. Units being led in a dance-fight that do not have the special only receive half the bonus. (in order to lead a dance fight, a unit must have leadership and dance-fighting. The leader does not benefit from the bonus twice)
    ~ Stack bonus equal to the number of units in the stack (does not apply for stacks of one)
  4. Sum all units' combat scores to determine the Attack Score.
  5. Repeat the above process with the apposing units' defense scores, leaving out dance-fighting, to determine Defense Score
  6. Subtract Defense Score from Attack Score. If positive, this is the number of TOTAL hits taken by the defending stack.
  7. Repeat the above process in reverse (Defending Stack's Combat versus the Attacking Stack's Defense) to determine the hits sustained by the attackers in the course of their engagement.
  8. Remove Croaked units from combat. If led, the attackers may retreat, otherwise combat continues to round 2 and so on until one side is defeated.

The reason croaked units are not removed until the END of a round is because the attacking and defending portions are technically happening simultaneously, in other words the hits taken by the attacking stack are the damages they suffer while executing their attack.

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Re: Proofreading/Clarification Discussion

Post  Twoy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:16 pm

This is my feedback after the last test, but I can't remember if I posted it anywhere on these forums.

Here is my feedback. I may think of some more things later, but I'm out of time for now.

After Action Report:
1. Hills should be able to produce shmuckers.
--Farm $100/turn.
--Mine $300/turn.

2. On the proving grounds map:
What is the terrain type at 13.24? It looks like a forested mountain or forested hills; however we do not have forested mountain or forested hills listed in the terrain rules.

3. Lookamancer spell Contact is not clear:
--Contact: Allows the Lookamancer to see, from a distance, a unit or stack of units as though the caster were standing in front of them. No chance to dispel veils. 5 juice.
--How do you identify which unit you want to "contact"? Can you "contact" unknown enemy units, for example "contact the enemy ruler of that scout that just passed over my capital".
--Also, maybe the spell name should be changed to View, since there is no real contact.

4. Dirtamancer:
--Pit Trap: When this trap is triggered, trigger stack falls into a deep hole. Treat as attack from unit with 3 attack. 20 juice.
Seems a bit underpowered. If the trap hits a stack, there is no way it can do any damage. If the trap hits an individual unit (for example, a stabber) within a stack, if the unit does not get a stack bonus or a leadership bonus, the trap might do 1 hit of damage. That means it would take 5 traps to kill a stabber. Not sure how to fix this one, but it definitely needs some work.

--Dynamite: Must be cast in mine. Mine produces +10% more schmuckers this turn. Stacks with other income-boosting spells and specials. 30 juice. Usable by level 5 stuffamancers.
Compare Dynamite with Gold Rush
--Gold Rush: Can only be cast while in a mine. Schmucker production in the mine is increased by 50% (stacks with warlord patrol bonus). 25 juice. Usable by level 10 clevermancers.

These two spells need to be balanced. Either Dynamite should produce more or Gold Rush should produce less.

5. Clarification of what a Ruler can do on one turn:
--Can a ruler manage a city and build a mine at the same time?
--Can a ruler manage a city and build a mine while he is in the city's zone of control but not actually inside the city?
--Can a ruler manage a city and upgrade the city from level 2 to level 3 at the same time?

6. Clarification on what commanders can do:
--Can a ruler order a caster to move to another location and create a city?
--Can a caster upgrade a city from level 1 to level 2?
--Can I as the player just have commanders do what I want them to do, or does my ruler have to send orders to all the commanders?

7. Natural Allies:
--We did not test natural allies, but I'm a bit concerned that they might be game breakers. For example, on Turn 21 I had 15,000 shmuckers in my capital's treasury. If I had natural allies with a Special D Unit such as Blue Dwagons, I would have been able to pop a couple of stacks of Blue Dwagons and terrorize my opponents. That would be especially true if my opponent's natural allies had for example only the capability to pop non-ranged units.

8. Raising levels:
--I may have missed it, but I don't see where in the rules it explains what bonuses a unit receives when it levels, and except for commanders, I don't see if higher level units cost more upkeep.
--It looks like Peter gained +2 Hits, +1 Attack, +1 Defense, and +1 Leadership.
--Also, do we have a system for gaining xp for battles? Peter and 7 Dwarves (Special Unit B) croaked a level 1 warlord and two Ratman Smith (Special Unit C. I also had a separate stack of 3 Dwarves in the hex though they did not engage in the battle. How many xps does each unit get?

Does the level 1 warlord give more xp because he was the ruler?
--I know that the GMs would like to keep the xp process secret because in Erfworld, units do not know how many xps they have or how many they need to level. The problem with keeping it secret is that the GMs have to keep track of every unit's xps, and for example if I send in my turn 18 orders and starts planning my turn 19 orders without realizing that one of my casters, warlords or courtiers will raise a level at the end of turn 18, I will have to rewrite my orders for turn 19, which could slow the game down a lot, especially if I don't have time to rewrite the orders on that day.

--For ease of play I recommend we make the xping and leveling process transparent.

What about this as a system for leveling?
1. Warlords, Casters and Courtiers stay the way they are in the rules.
2. Stabbers, Pikers, Archers and Scouts do not gain xp and cannot level.
3. Special Units A, B and C can raise up to level 3 and no higher. Each time they level, they gain +2 Hits, +1 Attack and +1 Defense. Upkeep does not increase as they raise levels.
4. Knights and Special Unit D can raise up to level 5 and no higher. Each time they level, they gain +2 Hits, +1 Attack and +1 Defense. Upkeep does not increase as they raise levels.

Twoy
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