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 a vehicular assault game

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: a vehicular assault game   Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:33 am

Have another idea for a game to make... came to me in a dream.  I am sending this as an email and posting it on the forum; I'm just sending it out like this so everyone sees it and has a chance to respond.

First, the dream.

In this dream, Tim was setting up a game, one I haven't seen before.  The playing field was a fold out paper map, about the size of a poster; the background for this map was a nebula (though I don't know why) and the playing field was an oval track.  On this track were cars that looked like the vehicles from Life, complete with little peg people.  In front of Tim and I were this cardboard trays with six cardboard character cards, each card representing a person in the vehicle.  You roll dice to move your vehicle, and then you draw a card as indicated.  Each card gives either your vehicle or the occupants a bonus or hinderance.  The object of the game is to eliminate your opponent's troops; the vehicle is optional, not necessary to destroy.

Okay, that was the dream, and so here's what I came up with.

The track: This should be sectional, with each player laying down a section of track in turn.  Sections could be forks, curves, straightaways, dead ends, and so on.  Each section has its own ruleset: straights add a bonus to speed, curves a reduction, dead ends lose a turn, and so on.  And by turn I mean the track gets placed as the game is being played.  Think of it as fog of war; Tim is advancing his vehicle, I get to lay the track before him.  Or hell, each player places a piece before the game starts, I don't think it really matters that much to the mechanics overall.  Additional sections could have sand dunes, farmer's field, swamp, and so on.

The vehicles: plastic APCs or other ground personnel transports.  Depending on the faction or army you have, your vehicle will have its own set of stats (heavier armor, quicker speed, electronic counter measures, and so on.

Vehicle tray:  look back to the dream where I mentioned a cardboard tray.  This represents your APC.  The design is like those preschool puzzles; double layered, with the top forming the frame.

Pegs: each peg is similar to the Life pegs, as that they can attach to the APC.  However, each peg is colored or detailed differently.  Each peg represents a member of that particular platoon or fire team.

Character Cards:  Each "card" is actually a tile; only so many can fit within the frame of the APC.  Think or the game Dues Ex... remember the weapons layout?  How each weapon took up a different number of squares, and so your layout varied depending on what you were carrying?  Same thing here.  A 50 cal operator is going to take up more room in the APC than someone carrying a SMG; someone with a Dragoon or an RPG, because of the blast radius, is going to take up more room thatn the 50 cal operator.  Make sense?  Oh, and any faction can use any character.

Combat:  there are two ways of player initiated combat... drive by and assault.  Tim's turn ended; I roll a five and so I advance so many spaces.  My vehicle can either advance past his, or I can end my turn short by stopping my vehicle next to his.  If I drive by, I can opt to have the characters that are able to shoot from a moving vehicle to do so.  If I elect to stop, I can disembark my troops and open fire.  Tim cannot return fire during a drive by, but he can return fire when I disembark... he cannot disembark because it is not his turn.  I roll for attack, Tim rolls for defense.  Can't be simpler.  There are character bonuses though (and hindrances), so keep those in mind.

Turns: continuing the example above, it is now Tim's turn.  I had disembarked my turn.  Tim can now disembark his troops if he so chooses, but because my guys are already out, I can return fire, or embark at a hindrance.  Or, if Tim chooses, he can just get his vehicle the hell out of there; roll a dice and see what kind of getaway you have.

If you embark troops, you cannot roll to move; everyone's getting in place.  You can end your movement early to disembark... but to keep things balanced, each character has a movement number.  In my above example, I had rolled a five.  I moved ahead three spaces, ending by Tim, thus giving me two movements left.  Any character with a movement of two or less can disembark; movements with three or move cannot.  It's easier for someone with a SMG to leap out of the back and open fire than it is for someone to haul out the Dragoon.

Victory: You eliminate your opponent.  You can do this only by killing all his troops.  If a vehicle is destroyed with troops in it, they are killed; if a vehicle is destroyed when troops are disembarked, they are still alive.

Cards:  This is an optional addition to the core game.  At the start of your turn, draw a card; each card impacts your turn, whether it involves satellite uplink, GPS, weather, or whatever.

Players: There can be any amount of players.  Each player gets to use the same number of APCs... you don't need to play with just one.

Balance: The game balance is in the character cards.  You can load up your APC with a shitload of small machine gunners, or you can have an anti-aircraft double deuce in back acting as a mobile gun platform.  This is why each character takes up so many slots (not to mention the realism of blasts and weapon size).  The APCs used do have their particular stats, but this is like any turn based combat game; every faction has its own pros and cons.

If this game were to be marketed, you have the starter box: two faction APCs, two groups of basic small weapons troops, two heavier weapon operators (like a SAW or BAR), map sections, two dice, and cards.  You can then buy additional boosters which have different character cards, matching pegs, and additional map pieces.

Thoughts?  Opinions?
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PostSubject: Re: a vehicular assault game   Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:22 pm

Sorry for the delay. Was on day shift this week so...you know. Anyway, I would so totally play this, except BUT.... something about a minor detail is bugging the crap out of me.

@soothsayer wrote:

Combat:  there are two ways of player initiated combat... drive by and assault.  Tim's turn ended; I roll a five and so I advance so many spaces.  My vehicle can either advance past his, or I can end my turn short by stopping my vehicle next to his.  If I drive by, I can opt to have the characters that are able to shoot from a moving vehicle to do so.  If I elect to stop, I can disembark my troops and open fire.  Tim cannot return fire during a drive by, but he can return fire when I disembark... he cannot disembark because it is not his turn.  I roll for attack, Tim rolls for defense.  Can't be simpler.  There are character bonuses though (and hindrances), so keep those in mind.

When you mention the road cards, I picture (just for example) a 3x5 with two lanes taking up the whole card. Like half a city block worth of road per card. So you lay 10 cards, you have 5 city blocks. You roll and move your car, and can stop by Tim's car or keep going. Why is Tim's car stopped there? Most driving games, at the end of your turn, you're still considered to be in motion, right? You roll a 5, move your car 5, why exactly are you then considered stopped?

So then I wonder, did I get the 'roads on cards' wrong? Is it more like "this card is I-83, starting at the 7-11 and ends at Lanky Nib's farm?" Then I could see a reason for stopping the car. Like you roll 5, factor in gas and vehicle capabilities, and now you can move through 8 locations, or stop at one if you see another player's forces. Then you're stopping and getting out to have gang warfare at a specific location.

So... what's up?

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PostSubject: Re: a vehicular assault game   Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:35 am

Yeah, would would think they'd still be driving, but if you look at most (if not all) board games involving dice movment, the playing pieces always stop. Hell, look at Talisman as an example: I can see you approaching me, I know you're going to attack me, so what do I do? Try to run and hide somewhere, or stand my ground?

Okay, bad example. But I'll touch upon this in a bit.

Yes, the road tiles would simply be sections of road (or track or field or debris). Ever play... oh, what was it called... Water Works? Where you lay down pipe? Same thing here, but they'd be roads.

You do raise a good question, didn't really think about it before, but now that I type this, the answer is coming right at me. The road tiles are not to scale. Think of a GPS display. Whenever you approach areas where there are a lot of turns or bends, the display zooms in on your location, and zooms back out when you hit straightaways. The same could be said for the game, that the curved roads merely represent an area where there are some twists / snakes / curves. That we're watching this game foldout from satellite imagery.

...

Ooh, thought of something else with that last sentence. Have to figure it out though.

...

So anyway, in game terms, we can say that each number on the die (when rolled for movement) is equal to an hour of travel. Stops could be explained as mechanical in nature, re-establishing communications, or just breaks and rest periods in general.

In keeping with my GPS analogy, and with your added comment about locations, we could add locations into the tiles. Shopping Centers provide gear if you roll a certain number, an auto shop where we could repair vehicular damage at a loss of movement, stuff like that. Gives the players even more reasons to stop... or chance it and continue.

But then In suppose there should be an end goal. Why are the players doing this? What is the objective? It's got to be more than simple rivalry, especially if we're looking at each number on the die an hour of travel... that makes for an extended chase, leading to some strong need to hunt down your opponent. Damn it, what the hell are the players after?!

I'll have to think about this.
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PostSubject: Re: a vehicular assault game   Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:43 am

As I was typing and the whole location part came out, the end goal started being clear IF the cards represented manymany miles of road with hot spots of activity to stop at (and like you say, possibly search and/or get killed at). It could be a territory grab type of scenario, like your "gang" taking these locations and holding them (monopoly with guns?). Could be you're trying to get your family across country to an amusement park that might be closed when you get there! Could be 10 end goal cards, shuffle them, lay them down back-side-up, pick one, shuffle it into the deck, hide the rest, and have a random goal! Either way, bigger scale on the cards DOES give a reason for the cars to stop that my mind accepts as workable (would play it anyway, but I'm sure I would be a mocking prick every time somebody said "I stop my car in the middle of this road").


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PostSubject: Re: a vehicular assault game   Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:50 am

Just typed this up.

Quote :
The year is 2035, and America has fallen. No longer the strong proud nation it once was, America is overrun with various factions and sects, each determined to establish control over the others. Caught in the middle of this campaign are citizens and civilians who wander throughout the country, in the hopes of finding something new, something to provide hope and inspiration once more.

The Road is a vehicular turn based game inspired by current news and events, and taking them into the near future. The objective is simple: survive. What follows is a history of the game world.



1. The economic collapse of the United States of America began in the dawn of the 21st Century as America’s national debt far outpaced its ability to generate revenue. With an ever increasing debt numbering in the tens of trillions and the annual increase of the debt ceiling, the United States’ international credit rating began to fall; in an effort to stave off total collapse, the federal government began to sell its debt to a new economic powerhouse: China. Coupled with an ever increasing amount of illegal immigrants and a welfare system whose benefits far outweighed the necessity of financial stability, a total economic collapse was sure to come. With China’s demands of payment increasing, with riots filling the streets over economic imbalance, and with an increasing population reliant on government support, America fell into a second or third world economic status; this opened a gateway for other nations to begin a siege against a country in which they believed dictated world affairs for too long.
2. Extreme Islamic groups, always warring with the United States, saw vindication in the summer of 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing and allowing same sex marriages. This decision bolstered the resolve of numerous terrorist groups; having already seen America as a Great Evil, these factions soon united under a common banner, rallying against America’s willful acceptance of homosexuality. Soon, terrorist cells were discovered within America’s borders. Intelligence experts, hampered by recent changes to surveillance technologies and tactics, reported that, for every cell or group discovered, another eight went unchecked. Car and pipe bombings, already on the rise, soon gave way to greater explosives impacting larger areas, and it was only a matter of time before these attacks became coordinated, with the potential of a dirty bomb looming around the corner. With Iran’s nuclear capability surpassing what was regulated, terrorist access to refined uranium was assured.
3. As America began to fall, southern border States saw an increase of Mexican cartel activity. Armed conflicts that dotted small Mexican border towns quickly spilled over into American territory, and America was experiencing a war within its borders for the first time in over a hundred years. Military actions first involving the National Guard soon included mainstream ground forces. The Mexican government, already demonstrating an inability to counter the cartel uprising, was no match for the rise of Islamic extremists, who used the conflict to further their goals. Terrorism took on a new meaning as the groups joined with the cartels in bringing the fight onto American soil. Bombings within heavily populated centers increased, and a coordinated attack resulted in the detonation of several dirty bombs in major metropolitan areas. Martial Law in the south was soon to follow, while the federal government increased its surveillance on its population.
4. The United Nations quickly became involved in America’s political affairs, and brought in several peace keeping units, which ultimately resulted in an armed militia response from its citizens. UN involvement increased, only to escalate militant reactions. As the UN tried to maintain control, the federal government began to crack down on its citizens as well, only to spark a revolutionary mindset within numerous other militia groups and organizations already fearful of the government.

I still don't know what the objective would be, but I do like the idea of objective cards. Don't know how we could go about putting an objective on a location, have to give it some though. I know in Dropzone Commander you have to occupy a location and actively search (roll dice) to see if you find the objective. Could incorporate that.

Anyway, the game background covers why there are different in-game factions, a wide variety of weapons, and locations / wide stretches of road. Also provides for a "believable" scenario and keeping things in a modern setting, without having to resort to aliens and future technology.
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PostSubject: Re: a vehicular assault game   Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:34 am

Was thinking of movement, because something still didn't fit or strike me as making a lot of sense... mainly, if all the players begin at the same starting point, it kind of robs the game of being a game.

I think I've come up with a couple different ways to make movement better and more along the lines of the game itself and the background; plus, it might also help with goals and objectives, because I've noticed that, as I type this, they are playing out more like scenarios.

1. Both players start from the same tile, but begin play by heading out in different directions. This works with two players, in that it acts as if the APCs are on patrol. Once the vehicles drive by each other, that's when they can commence pursuit (ie, turn around).

2. Starting at opposite ends of the track. Players can begin by heading out in any direction they want. Each faction knows that there's an opponent somewhere within the area, and it's a simple matter of cat and mouse, of trying to find the opponent without falling victim.

3. Starting at same tile, but each player rolls to see how many turns it takes before they can begin play. Think of it like this: this would be an example of intelligence gathering. One of the players knows that there is an objective, and begins the hunt for it (he rolled a two, and being the lowest number, goes first). Player two's intelligence learns of player one's actions, and begins to pursue (he rolled a three). Player three learns that two is after one, but might not know why, but because they are involved, there might be something going on (had rolled a five).

Do we make a base of operations tile? Or use an existing location as our base? An abandoned school, a warehouse, would be ideal. Something to ponder...

...

DICE - I have begun to think that six sided dice just aren't going to be as effective as, say, two tens. And here's why.

Taking the example of the drive by shooting / deployed attack combat AND the scale of the tiles, you realize how hard this would be? I mean, the tiles are merely representative of what's going on with the terrain, right?

The tiles, even the straightaways, may have on them a split highway, or a series of roads on them (but still going relatively straight). Look at Highway 41, going to Green Bay as an example... goes from two lane road to four lane highway to a split highway, then to a six lane split, down to two lane. If a roll of the die represents the hours spent driving, that could mean that you can have two vehicles on the same tile (geographical area), and still be AT LEAST an hour apart.

As players are able to draw cards, this will impact the play. Satellite imagery may show that the enemy is camped up ahead, or that weather may hinder your opponent from spotting you (I believe I made mention of this aspect before in an earlier post).

If we use the two tens, we can roll for percentage... damn it, no no no, that just begins to make things more complicated. We'll leave it at six sided dice, and just say you have to roll a - in order to spot.

Anyway, as you can see, we would have to roll to see if we can spot / locate the enemy. Just driving onto the same tile makes things too easy, and robs the game of chance and... and... apprehension?

We already know that if a player has ended his turn, he's either performing maintenance, refueling / restocking, or encamping. A player driving by may not see him... who's to say the players are in the same lane / highway level? We can be driving on 41, but that doesn't mean you aren't at the Taco Bell on Velp, or I under the overpass off of Brown. Same geographical area, same stretch of road, but obstructed view, even if we are both right there.

So yeah, roll to spot / initiate combat. Each element adds a level of bonus or hindrance, impacting the dice roll.

...

Damn it, just thought of something else, but I had some people sign in over here, and now I can't remember what it was or what in involved.
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