Concept for a "no luck" system

  • There seems to be much interest in further reducing the luck of low luck. Most of these attempts may not alleviate the "bad dice frustration issue" all that much, as in a reduced luck system, individual battles will be even more frustrating to lose than before. Maybe we need a no luck system.

    The "no luck" system

    It starts off similar to Low luck in that every six power results in a hit which kills a single enemy unit. However, instead of rolling a die for the remainder, the remaining power will do "fractional hits."

    A single fractional hit will leave 5/6 of a unit standing. That 5/6 of a unit no longer fires, because it has been "routed," but it can still absorb fractional hits until the battle is over.

    There you go-- completely deterministic battles.

    But what happens to surviving "fractional units" after the battle? Here you have some options.

    Possibility #1. The fractional unit simply dies at the end of combat. This may be the fairest way to do things, but it would mean that every attack against a single infantry would result in the loss of a unit, which is probably not desirable.

    Possibility #2. The surviving fractional unit remains a fractional unit. It can move and participate in combat, and absorb fractional hits, but cannot fire or capture territory on its own. The main issue here is that attackers are favored. 2 infantry against 1 will lead to 1 infantry and 4/6 remaining on the offense-- overkill.

    Possibility #3-- Same as above, but when one side is left with nothing but fractional units, the battle is over. So the above battle would instead resolve as 1 and 4/6 infantry remaining on the offense, vs. 4/6 remaining on the defense, and attacker takes the territory. This seems to me the best result so far, the main weirdness of this is that it involves two hostile powers both with units on the same territory.

    And at the end of the turn, if two fractional units of the same power occupy the same territory, they consolidate. Two 3/6 fractional units of the same type would become 1 full unit. A 3/6 fractional unit and a 4/6 fractional unit would become a full unit and a 1/6 fractional unit.

    One interesting side benefit of a deterministic system might be stronger AI, since there are now fewer possibilities to calculate. (Or maybe not, since there are still an awful lot of possibilities.)

    What do you think?

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    @Goreg Well, you should clarify what it is going to happen if 1 armour attacks 1 infantry (amongst a lot of other cases), as they will be both "routed" or "fractionally hit" after the first combat round (so, if they both cannot fight anymore, the battle may last forever, and will last forever, if the armour cannot retreat). The easiest fix would be allowing fractionally hit units to keep fighting. However, I guess the options mean that they will both die under #1 (though you need to state that the battle ends as soon as everything is fractionally hit) and share the territory under #3 (not sure about #2).

    Moreover, this system is going to much distort units balance from the regular game. As you already pointed out, 2 infantries attacking 1 infantry would result in 1 and 4/6 infantry remaining on the offense and the defending infantry killed for sure (as the defensive infantry would be "routed" after the first combat round, then keeping being hit at 1/6 till it is a full casualty). So, a kind of battle almost noone would usually do (you would rather send 1 artillery with 1 or 2 infantries in attack, or 1 or 2 land units with 1 or more air units) becomes a sure win with not even the risk of taking any casualties. Though at least option 1 would assure this battle would always end with the attacker losing 1 infantry.

    Also, I believe you should clarify that fractionally hit units must take additional damage first (pretty sure they do, but it is not clearly stated). For example, if you have 1 infantry fractionally hit at 4/6 and another infantry untouched, and receive a hit at 3/6, the fractionally hit infanry would be taken as casualty and the other one would be fractionally hit at 1/6 (at least this is how I assume your system would be working).

    On the options, I think only option 1 would be feasible. Option 2 would leave a lot of these fractional units around indefinitely, creating confusion with stack numbers, hitpoints damages and other such things (remember that a two-hitpoints battleships could be fractionally hit too).

    Finally, the case of multiple hitpoints units (like a battleship) fractionally hit is not clarified. For example, if a battleship receives 10/6 damages, can it repair or will it die? If it repairs, will it go down to 4/6 damages or just fully restored?

    I understand the brainstorming process, but it would be probably better just to pick the option you like the most, as several options multiply the possibilities about an already highly arguable matter.

    But an interesting concept, I say. Tho I would rather go with the idea of saving the fractional hits for the next combat round, albeit making fractionally hit units able to keep fighting (tho this is not one of your options) would substantially do the same thing.

  • @Cernel Great feedback, thanks.

    I believe in my framework it is always better for fractional units to take damage first-- since fractional units don't hit, they are just worth less.

    On the other hand, in your proposal of allowing fractional units to keep fighting, this would require making it a rule that fractional units must be destroyed first, (otherwise you would let units be damaged to 1/6). Your proposal would definitely resolve the "enemy units in same territory" situation. Though some part of me thinks that's kind of cool, it is fairly inconsistent with current gameplay.

    Good question about the tank vs. infantry situation. I believe the way this fits in most neatly with Option 3 is by the 4/6 tank and 3/6 infantry coexisting in the contested territory, but the defender remains the owner.

    Your question about the battleship is interesting... I don't think a fractional battleship under 6/6 can repair (unless combined with another battleship and restored to 6/6) because if it can double its hitpoints every turn then it would be able to go from 1/6 to 2/6 to 4/6 which seems overpowered. However a 7/6 battleship would repair to 12/6 like normal.

    My vote as to the merits of the systems is that Option #3 and your suggestion which I'll call Option #4 are both better than #1 or #2. I have a soft spot for #3 even though most will agree it is a bit strange.

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    @Goreg I'm interested in knowing what TripleA maps you usually play?

    The reason I ask, is I think a no luck system like this would make many simple/small games (revised, anniversary, etc) between expert players essentially play out the same every time. You would lose the randomness which causes games to diverge. In some sort of random map type game, this could be ok because the map itself is different every time but when you have the same setup and know the optimal moves then I think its just the same game over and over. Unless I'm missing something?

  • @redrum I play big world maps mostly. What you're saying is valid. I think this tradeoff between lower luck(game therefore more decided by skill) and more stale metagame is one that already exists, and which players nonetheless try to reduce luck as much as possible through ll and house rules, even on maps like revised where metagame already is pretty constrained.

    But it's possible also, that this concept would be well suited to some maps and not others. For instance on FFA maps, metagame can never be stale no matter what the luck system.

    Maybe no luck allows for more complicated maps to be played, by making battle calc run very quickly even with very big battles with tons of units. But i am just theorizing here...

  • @Goreg I have actually played no luck face to face. It works nicely. My version involves repairing or scrapping damaged units.

  • I like Low Luck for battling the AI or online matches but with the board game I just use dice

    everyone has their own preferences and its nice to have options.

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