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Turns and initiative

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I’ve been planning a turn based tactical game lately. Every round you get action points. You can use the points to move, attack or prepare for attacks. When someone attacks another character the defender has the chance to block, dodge or counter attack. The amount of attacks you can parry each round is based on how many AP you saved and your skills. The chance of success also decreases every time. The question is how do I handle the turns? One solution is to first let the enemy attack with all his men. Then it’s your turn, then he and so on. You can choose the order of the characters, which is good, but the attacks come as waves, back and forth. I want the order to be based of initiative. The character with the highest initiative attacks first. In addition the character with higher initiative attacks more often than the ones with less initiative. For example A has higher initiative than B and C so the order is A-B-A-C-A-B... It is also possible to knock the enemy farther back in the line or decrease their initiative for a while. I know this is done before but I haven’t seen the game myself. I’m not quite sure how I can make the system work so do you have any suggestions? on the system, or other solutions.When I tried the system the characters with lower initiative never get the chance to attack when I had too many characters with high initiative. What is the best "formula"? [Edited by - Torfas on July 10, 2008 5:41:06 AM]

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Hi,

You could look into other wargame rules where initiative has been treated (look for the site Free Wargames Rules).

The major options I found regarding initiative were:

- randomize the number of actions available for each player (either with a die like in De Bellis Antiquitatis, or with activation cards like in Richard Borg Commands and Colors system). In this case, the UGO/IGO factor is corrected through constraints on the number of units to be activated.

- throw a die and add the highest (or your commander's) initiative. The winner of the initiative determines who moves first in the turn and who fires first. Either the system is UGO/IGO (like Victory or Wizards from Columbia Games) or the players take turn activating a limited number of units until all units have been activated (see Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures).

- the movement phase is divided into impulse and each unit is rated as to on which impulse it can move by 1 space. Initiative is determined by itself when the player made best use of his units to achieve the best firing position (see Starfire where each starship size can only move on certain impulses).

- The orders are first written then solved immediately (look at Wooden Ships and Iron Men). Initiative also is determined by itself when the player made best use of his units.

In wargames, initiative is often considered as a mean to determine the order of activation. Rarely have I seen a wargame where initiative determines if a unit attacks more: when it is the case, the unit is restricted to a second attack only (meaning a unit with high initiative attacks twice as much as a unit with low initiative).

In fact using initiative depends on what is the focus of your wargame:
- team cooperation: see option 1 or 2.
- tactical movement: see option 3 or 4.

Now you may have another way of determining initiative if you focus on individual action. Look at the game Elfball from Impact Miniatures: each player only activates one character. Each character has challenges with a defined number of successes to obtain (like to be able to catch the ball or tackle another character, ...). Each time there are more successes obtained than the number required, the extra successes are stored and can be used at the end of the character turn to perform a few extra actions. If this system interests you, I would suggest you to look at the rules to see how it works out.

Hope that helps.

Ghostly yours,
Red.

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One solution is to have an initiative bar. When it is full, that character can act. Different actions might drain the bar different amounts, and a character with a high initiative might fill their bar faster.

This leads to an interesting strategy, where a character might go for many quick attacks that don't drain their initiative bar much. But another might go for more powerful attacks, but get fewer of them because they drain their initiative bar more.

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FF10 has an initiative combat system too, where characters and enemies with higher initiative move first. Actions by each character will determine how far back in the initiative queue the character will be moved after the action.

Another interesting feature in FF10 is the display of action sequence to the player, there will be a queue showing which character or enemy will be going next. Example - A = B = A = Enemy = A ... It will also shows the player how far back the current character will move in the sequence, if the player executes the selected action for the current character. This requires the player to put in a little effort to plan their actions, although playing through the game I don't feel it is making much of a difference, except allowing you to heal an injured party member before the enemy can kill him/her off.

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I've looked up on FFX, and some other games in the series, and it did sound good. I've never played any of those games except for the first one, but I wish I had (for inspiration). I play way too few games.

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Quote:
Original post by Si Hao
... It will also show the player how far back the current character will move in the sequence, if the player executes the selected action for the current character.


This preview of how a possible action will leave the turn order, by re-shuffling the on-screen turn list as the user moves over each option is a great technique to learn from FFX.

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