Monday, May 7, 2012
[Open Design: Mercenaries #3] Conquering Territory
In the last Open Design article, we talked about the game's battle system - specifically, how complex or abstract it should be. The general consensus seems to be that it should be more on the complex side. Humandisaster brought up the subject of having some kind of system for fighting over territories. So, I've thought up two general designs for how the battle system could incorporate the concept of conquering territory. I'll layout the two designs below and see what anyone thinks of them.
Territories as Cards
Along with the deck of mercenary cards, the game could include a deck of territory cards. At the beginning of each battle phase, the top card of the territory deck would be revealed. Then, players would take turns in order.
On your turn, you could chose to play a merc card from your hand or you could hold. If you play a merc card, immediately apply any special effects on the card, and add the merc's combat value to your combat total. For each round that you choose to hold, you gain an extra resource point. So, holding will make it less likely that you'll win this territory, but it will mean that you have more money to bid on mercs in the next bidding phase.
When no player is able or willing to play another merc card, compare all players' combat totals. The player with the highest combat total wins the battle and claims the territory, and play proceeds to the next bidding phase. Territories would have special effects that could affect your strategy once you've claimed them, and they will also be worth victory points. At the end of the game, the player with the most victory points wins.
Territories as Board
Along with the deck of mercenary cards, the game could also feature a board with various territories marked out on it. During the battle phase, each player gets a turn to declare an attack from any territory they control against an adjacent territory controlled by another player.
Those two players take turns playing merc cards from their hands. When you play a merc card, immediately apply any special effects on the card, and add the merc's combat value to your combat total. When neither player is able or willing to play another merc card, compare the two players' combat totals. The player with the highest combat total wins the battle. If the defending player won, they maintain control of their territory and gain an extra resource point. If the attacking player won, then they claim the territory from their opponent.
Then the next player can declare an attack, until each player has had a turn at attacking in the battle phase. Afterward, play proceeds to the next bidding phase. At the end of the game, the player who controls the majority of the board wins.
Those are just very rough models. Please give me any feedback you may have on which design you prefer, or any tweaks you might make to them. Also, if you have a whole other design in mind, it's not too late to propose your idea. Please share your thoughts in the comments.