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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pickett's Charge

Pickett's Charge is a print and play microgame and was fun to develop. Having only done computer games until now, it was interesting to note how easy it is to add game design features to a tabletop game versus coding game design elements into a computer game. Much easier. You just write the rule! No programming to do which can add days or weeks to a computer project. What freedom and fun!

Also microgames are smaller scale so you don't have 150 counters and a large game map. This makes such a project both easier to develop and faster to play.

There are some quirks to work out when doing a paper game, however. Like getting the right map size and scale to print out on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Finding a solution for aligning the back and front sides of the unit counters was a bit tricky.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Combat Phase

The American Civil War game engine (Second Manassas: R. E. Lee's Greatest Victory) employs the following sequence of play:

Union Movement
Condeferate Movement
Union Artillery Fire
Confederate Artillery Fire
Combat
Rally
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In the combat phase, any unit with "attack" orders can initiate combat with (attack) an adjacent unit. Any unit attacked becomes a defender as does any enemy unit adjacent to an "attacking" unit. Each attacker and defender attempts to "hit" an adjacent enemy unit a number of times equal to its Strength Points and can attempt to hit only one enemy unit per turn. A hit during the turn results in a end-of-phase Strength Point Loss and Morale Checks.
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This approach seems a more realistic model of combat in an interval of time (a "turn") than allowing both sides to conduct combat (igo-ugo) in the combat phase, which is a traditional approach, and by modeling "simultaneous combat" a bit better, may not overstate casualties.