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ToohrVyk

Red vs Blue: online wargaming

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Well, I can't honestly say this has nothing to do with the other thread about online browser-based wargames. This post presents a detailed description of an online browser-based conquest game. Red vs. Blue features two superpowers that play on a small square grid. Each of them owns two special tiles: the base and the target. Each superpower's base contains an infinite amount of soldiers, and each superpower must conquer the other superpower's target tile. The game state is updated every ten minutes. Any orders given in between updates are remembered, and all are executed simultaneously when the update occurs. Each player is associated to a superpower, and may give any amount of orders he likes in each ten-minute span. Any player can see the number of units of each superpower and their position (but not their destination, if they are on the move). Each square contains a given number of soldiers. You can order one soldier at a time (and you can only give orders to soldiers which have not received orders yet). Soldiers with orders move to a new, adjacent tiles. Soldiers without orders defend their current tile. When enemy soldiers reach a given tile, they die on a 1 versus 1 basis as they kill each other (the tile may be left empty). Defending soldiers get a first round of dealing damage before they start dying (because they're fortified). When two armies move to face one another, they attack each other first, and any survivors then move on to their destination. You win by moving one soldier into the enemy's target tile. When one side wins, the game pauses for 1 hour, counting down, and the game resumes with a new randomly generated map. Maps, in addition to each superpower's special tiles and the default empty tiles contain three additional types of tiles:
  • Hilltop tile: defenders get a first round of dealing damage, during which each defender deals 1.5 damage (that is, for each two defenders, three attackers die before the actual fight starts). In addition to this, the defenders deal an automatic 0.5 damage each update step to units which are defending an adjacent tile.
  • Forest tile: defenders only inflict 0.5 damage during the initial free damage round (that is, for each two defenders, one attacker dies).
  • Water tile: units cannot move into this tile.

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But this would require both players to be online at the same time and has time to spare to finish the match? Won't that be a problem for most browser based communities who just log in 10-30mins a day?

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I agree. I think it should be hour-long rounds that let players issue orders once a day if they like, and there should be teams of players who can take over for each other.

The round length may have to be adjusted based on how large the battlefield is.

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Original post by sarahcovenant
But this would require both players to be online at the same time and has time to spare to finish the match? Won't that be a problem for most browser based communities who just log in 10-30mins a day?


I agree that the round duration should have to be adjusted, both to allow players to see the outcome of their orders live, and to reduce the impact of low-affluence periods.

Other than that, the game doesn't need all the players to be present to move on. The superpower with the most active players does get an advantage over the other one, but with enough players (and/or acceptable replacement AI) this could be reduced as well.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
I agree that the round duration should have to be adjusted, both to allow players to see the outcome of their orders live, and to reduce the impact of low-affluence periods.

Other than that, the game doesn't need all the players to be present to move on. The superpower with the most active players does get an advantage over the other one, but with enough players (and/or acceptable replacement AI) this could be reduced as well.



Will players be allowed to join in the game at any time? Or are the numbers of players locked in upon start?

Because, if one superpower is losing, won't new players keep joining the winning team instead? And players from the losing team will keep dropping out ("surrendering").

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I don't think the "defenders get an entire round" principle is very fair. If you send 400 units to a tile with 400 units, you lose all of your units and they lose nothing.

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Original post by GroZZleR
I don't think the "defenders get an entire round" principle is very fair. If you send 400 units to a tile with 400 units, you lose all of your units and they lose nothing.


No. The defenders first get a strike, so it will be 400-399. Then the attackers get one, 399-399, etc. The result wil be 1-0 for the defenders.

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Original post by sarahcovenant
Will players be allowed to join in the game at any time? Or are the numbers of players locked in upon start?

Because, if one superpower is losing, won't new players keep joining the winning team instead? And players from the losing team will keep dropping out ("surrendering").


Whenever a player joins, she is automatically associated with a random superpower. As for losing or winning, I'm not certain that, as long as there is defense available near the target tile, a team can be said to be losing. You can cut supply lines, wall in the enemy advance and so on.

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Original post by Sijmen
No. The defenders first get a strike, so it will be 400-399. Then the attackers get one, 399-399, etc. The result wil be 1-0 for the defenders.


Actually, he was right. The defenders get a full round (not a strike) meaning they kill 400 of the incoming adversaries.

Quote:
Original post by GroZZleR
I don't think the "defenders get an entire round" principle is very fair. If you send 400 units to a tile with 400 units, you lose all of your units and they lose nothing.


Indeed, and it is designed to be this way. Attackers get a large advantage of being able to strike at different locations. Consider a vertical front line with the same amount of soldiers on every side. An attack would have three attacking tiles move into a single adjacent defending tile, devastating the defenders. Finding 2n+1 attackers to fight n defenders is easy unless you're surrounded (at which point you will get wrecked anyway). Reducing this number to n+1 seems to me quite unbalancing.

Besides, this is really intended to look like the trench wars of WWI: sending small amounts of soldiers gets them killed because the entrenched enemy has a far better position (and machine guns), medium amounts of soldiers do manage to capture the spot but cannot secure a bridgehead, and only a coordinated movement of troops towards a given area can ensure that you can move past the initial conquest.

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Original post by ToohrVyk
Quote:
Original post by sarahcovenant
Will players be allowed to join in the game at any time? Or are the numbers of players locked in upon start?

Because, if one superpower is losing, won't new players keep joining the winning team instead? And players from the losing team will keep dropping out ("surrendering").


Whenever a player joins, she is automatically associated with a random superpower. As for losing or winning, I'm not certain that, as long as there is defense available near the target tile, a team can be said to be losing. You can cut supply lines, wall in the enemy advance and so on.


Hmmm...I don't know man, are the two sides identical to each other? If they are flavoured, won't new players want to join his favourite side? Anyway random solves nothing, players will still join the winning team. If they get randomed into the losing team, they can simply start a new account until they finally got randomed into the team they want to play.

Also, most players would prefer to play with their friends? If so they will probably make new account until they get to the team with their friends in it.

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Quote:
Original post by sarahcovenant
Hmmm...I don't know man, are the two sides identical to each other? If they are flavoured, won't new players want to join his favourite side? Anyway random solves nothing, players will still join the winning team. If they get randomed into the losing team, they can simply start a new account until they finally got randomed into the team they want to play.


The two sides are identical, except for their color (obviously, but that can be changed). In theory, randomization would only happen when the player first connects, the same color would then be used every time the player connects (no accounts, either).

Quote:
Also, most players would prefer to play with their friends? If so they will probably make new account until they get to the team with their friends in it.


That's true.

In any case, do you have any suggestions about how to solve the "I only join the winning team" while allowing people to join whatever team they want?

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