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suliman

Turnbased strategy: Free movement on a risk-like map?

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Posted (edited)

Hi

Im doing a turnbased strategy game like (the management part of) total war. It's near sci-fi post apoc, you control an empire in ww3. The map is risk-like (each managemable "city" is a region of land such as "western europe" or "west coast US").

Im thinking about leaving army/navy movement "free", meaning they move on a high-resolution grid instead of jumping between the actual regions (which is normally what these games do).

See pic below for an example. You move both your armies (blue rectangles. The rightmost army will move along the lines into the western region) into the western region and press end turn. Both these armies will then fight in that region and try to conquer it. Is this too wierd? It gives distance a better feel than single-jump between regions, but might become unclear to the player. (basically an army/navy is always in a single region (the region "under" the current tile), it just uses the real distance when moving around).

screenie.png

Edited by suliman

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I like it.

The idea sounds nice and should look a lot more alive than those static versions of risk.

I just have the suspicion that the movement of units could be too slow when moving from one side of a region to the other.

Also consider adding either more units to make the screen more populated or make units faster.

The screenshot above looks nice but if the units are very slow it could feel very desolate.

 

My suggestion would be to add more speed the closer the unit is to the region center, main town or support outposts which could simulate supply routes for the troops and their level of security (you have to scout more and be more careful at the border to the enemy territory).

It could make movement a bit more intuitive but it might also feel really awkward. You would have to test this yourself ^^

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Well those are armies so they would be comprised of alot of units. Im thinking base speed would be similar to the distance of a standard region or more. 

Yeah i have to test it more of course. Still not sure it's the best solution (to mix free move and regions) but might be interesting :)

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Compared to Risk, this kind of movement would introduce a massive amount of micromanagement if done by selecting armies. To avoid selecting armies, you could instead select attack/movement targets and let units take care of themselves, like in Liquid War or GalCiv (even if the game is not realtime).

Units could be produced in cities, automatically distribute themselves evenly inside owned territories, and automatically attack the nearest enemy of an appropriate type in hostile territory.
Orders could be to move N units from territory A to adjacent territory B; if the game isn't realtime, there would be only a cosmetic difference with traditional Risk moves and rules (which can be decomposed into individual units engaging each other).

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Why massive micromanagement? I never said it's exactly like risk, just that it map works the same way. You will move armies but each army will have up to 20 units (like total war) so "one army" is often enough to conquer a region. Or did I missunderstand you?

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A Risk move is an attack from one territory to another, without per-army interaction. There can be hundreds of armies per territory, so not interacting with them is of decisive importance.

If placement of armies within a territory matters, and is controllable by the player, an ulterior and even worse layer of micromanagement becomes necessary.

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Lorenzo: You are not being very helpful (or didnt read). I already explained twice that there are NOT loads of armies, just a few. So there are no "hundreds of armies". The MAP is risk-like, that's all. The "armies" work very differently as I explained.

Placement within the territory would not matter for deciding what armies fight what other armies (if several armies in a region you attack, you will fight them all, one by one). Exact location would only matter when moving over several regions as the distance of a large region might mean you will not get so very far in the next region (or ocean).

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Posted (edited)

If I understand correctly your units are comparable to Risk armies (they are identical and up to a few hundreds per player), and your armies replace Risk territories as the main organizational structure in a player's forces.

I was assuming a pile of many identical armies, one per territory like in Risk, and a need for territory-based orders. If instead you have complex armies territories are  important only as things that can be conquered; the army location that matters is a point at a certain distance from other armies, not the enclosing territory.

Can you explain what determines the location of armies? If you order armies to attack a territory, there is no direct control (probably a good thing) and no apparent indirect control, but it is definitely important (the difference between locations in the same territory could amount to several turns of movement). Obvious ideas for reasonable automatic army placement include stopping wherever they win a battle (with the enemy retreated or annihilated) or automatically going to a capital city in the middle of the territory.

Regarding micromanagement, the Risk standard is that moving N units between two adjacent territories represents a large part of a turn, and in a typical turn many territories do nothing. If your orders are based on armies, each army should receive few or no orders each turn.

There should be little difficulty in issuing few orders to armies in the "hot" parts of the map (with orders to attack arbitrary territories, fighting along the shortest path as needed, they could even be taken care of for multiple turns, with less orders than in Risk) but would "idle" armies need orders too? Repositioning them manually within the territory would be unpleasant.

Edited by LorenzoGatti

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The form of movement that you are talking about wanting to use is how it works in Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron, so you might look at those games for inspiration.  A lot could be done with this using a more advanced turn structure, but "first generation Candyland turns" are all you have to work with in the primitive language of computer game designers.  If I ever get to make my games you'll get to see what I am talking about.  If not, this knowledge will just be lost to history due to the arrogance and incompetence of the people who work in the computer game industry.

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4 hours ago, Kavik Kang said:

The form of movement that you are talking about wanting to use is how it works in Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron, so you might look at those games for inspiration.  A lot could be done with this using a more advanced turn structure, but "first generation Candyland turns" are all you have to work with in the primitive language of computer game designers.  If I ever get to make my games you'll get to see what I am talking about.  If not, this knowledge will just be lost to history due to the arrogance and incompetence of the people who work in the computer game industry.

I think the vast majority of people are happy with candyland turns.  In fact I'd say the more 'Candy' the turn the better.  

Can you give me the title of a video game that isn't?

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