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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Easy E wrote:
Without Morale, designers are depriving themselves of a potential opportunity for depth. I am under the assumption that "fun" games require choices and consequences. Managing Morale and C&C at its best adds more choice and consequence.

OK, you say that, so what's your "fix" in a game that someone would actually *want* to buy and play?


Careful what you ask for, since the best-selling game that people seem to want to play is the exact same system you have been deriding as stupid.


Now, with that out of the way..... here is how I think about this Command & Control, Morale, Friction as an equation to game design.....

Decisions+ (Command + Control) – (Morale and Friction) = Depth

So, if players have a certain a level of decisions to make that they know their troops will accomplish but this is off set by their troops reactions to the action of the enemy and other battlefield complications that limit their ability to complete the outcome of the player's decision. That is what will provide a game depth.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/02 20:12:23


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Made in de
Been Around the Block




Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of combinations > number of parts = "game depth" or more precise emergence

or less general

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth

It has nothing to do with C&C or morale. It's more the question of how many different things you can do to alter the course of the game.

For example: Which unit do you have to buff, to get the best benefit? Or where should I plant my machine gun?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
I recommend this GDC Talk by the head designer of Magic: The Gathering and his 20 GD lessons he learned in 20 years of designing Magic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHHg99hwQGY

It's quite long and maybe a little off topic, but some of those lessons count very much to this discussion.

I generally recommend to watch GDC Talks if you're interested in Game Design.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2019/05/02 20:42:54


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Easy E wrote:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
> Without Morale, designers are depriving themselves of a potential opportunity for depth. I am under the assumption that "fun" games require choices and consequences. Managing Morale and C&C at its best adds more choice and consequence.


OK, you say that, so what's your "fix" in a game that someone would actually *want* to buy and play?


Careful what you ask for, since the best-selling game that people seem to want to play is the exact same system you have been deriding as stupid.


Decisions+ (Command + Control) – (Morale and Friction) = Depth


Popularity from long-standing inertia doesn't make a game or mechanic good. Warhammer exists because it survived the various shakeouts, because it was the first to get big and it had the best models. Not because the rules were the best. If Warhammer rules were good, people wouldn't be constantly complaining and tinkering with them.


The formula is fine, but it's not really answering the question? I was more curious what you felt "best practices" would be.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/02 21:16:14


   
Made in us
[DCM]
Infiltrating Prowler





Portland, OR

 JohnHwangDD wrote:
@DS - It is incorrect to characterize Igo-Ugo as a defining characteristic of Morale issues when it's really the Warhammer family line at fault, and that due to the age of when Warhammer was originally written.
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. Igo-Ugo isn't the defining characteristic that how Warhammer utilizes Morale is bad but more how they utilize it is how others also did. The issue is a bigger issue because a large number of units are removed options which effects a player more in Igo-Ugo than the alternate. In an alternate activation that uses the same Morale function, it is on a smaller scale but effects just the one activated unit (usually) allowing a player to activate another unit for the next activation and lowering the impact that it had on a tactical level. With Igo-Ugo, when a unit just simply runs away as the only action, there it is harder for that player to adjust where an opponent can very easily cause a bad roll to spiral more downward.
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Lord Royal wrote:
Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of combinations > number of parts = "game depth" or more precise emergence

or less general

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth



By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions. Hard to sell a bunch of blank cards to folks.

Therefore, like all things it exists on a continuum. The trick for a designer is to land someplace on the continuum where they feel comfortable. Morale and C&C are tools you use to place your designs on that continuum. There are games where Morale and C&C make no sense, and there are games where it is the most imperative element.

As for best practices, I don't know what they are as each design and game has different needs. Honestly, the reason I started this was to get me to think more about the topic as I am not satisfied with how it works in many games as well. Plus, i knew it could lead to some interesting discussion and that JohnHwangDD had a very clear position on the topic!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/02 22:30:56


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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Easy E wrote:
As for best practices, I don't know what they are as each design and game has different needs. Honestly, the reason I started this was to get me to think more about the topic as I am not satisfied with how it works in many games as well. Plus, i knew it could lead to some interesting discussion and that JohnHwangDD had a very clear position on the topic!


OK, that's fair.

   
Made in gb
Lesser Daemon of Chaos




Newcastle

I like it in 40k now, it's a part of the game that was worth maintaining in a simplified form. I can imagine my guys running in terror, freezing up, going loco and charging foolishly into enemy fire, panicking and injuring themselves beyond usefulness, not sticking to the plan etc. A lot can be represented by taking models off the table

Hydra Dominatus 
   
Made in de
Been Around the Block




 Easy E wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of combinations > number of parts = "game depth" or more precise emergence

or less general

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth



By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions. Hard to sell a bunch of blank cards to folks.


Nope, that's not what I meant. That's why I wrote reasonable actions.
But to write it in actual game design terms: emergence is the relation between mechanics and dynamics. The more dynamics your game has for each mechanic the deeper or more emergent it is.

Your example had a single mechanic (cards) and a single dynamic (write cards)... not very deep.
So let's define it: A game can be considered deep if it's more than the sum of its parts.
To define what's a game exactly, is a whole other story and highly debatable, but your example of blank cards is very likey not even a game by any definition.

Can morale be a mechanic that adds depth? Certainly yes! Is a game deeper just because it has a morale mechanic? Certainly not inevetably. It has to be tied into the other mechanics and should add more than one additional dynamic with other mechanics to create (more) depth.

If it's just added to have it in the game, it's very likely to fail.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/03 04:20:54


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Lord Royal wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth


By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions. Hard to sell a bunch of blank cards to folks.


Your example had a single mechanic (cards) and a single dynamic (write cards)... not very deep.


Exactly! Make believe itself is actually a trivially shallow game, because there ONE (1) rule is "make up rules as you go along".

OTOH, game(s) that are subsequently created via make believe will undoubtedly have far greater depth because they have more rules mechanics and are likely to use more components.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth


By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions. Hard to sell a bunch of blank cards to folks.


Your example had a single mechanic (cards) and a single dynamic (write cards)... not very deep.


Exactly! Make believe itself is actually a trivially shallow game, because there ONE (1) rule is "make up rules as you go along".

OTOH, game(s) that are subsequently created via make believe will undoubtedly have far greater depth because they have more rules mechanics and are likely to use more components.



The guy designing magic cards says that a games depth is the reasonable decisions vs. core mechanics. I respond that this is a ridiculous and useless formula as by logic extension the game with the most depth will have infinite decisions and no mechanics is a game of make believe. Therefore, it has the most "depth" by definition. It is hard to monetize the game of make believe which by definition has the most depth since there is no need for any materials. Therefore, the Magic designer will have a tough time selling a game with no tools but has the most depth. I hope that makes sense, as I was not proposing a game of make believe using blank cards.

Now, onto Morales role in helping to create depth. Of course, Morale requires some more mechanics. However, it also creates choice as the player needs to find ways to mitigate the friction or effects of morale in game. Therefore, if implemented correctly Morale will create more decisions than mechanics. Not having Morale lessens mechanics, but also reduces decisions, which can also lead to more "depth" based on the definition that depth= Decisions > Mechanics. Morale or lack of morale is a system neither creates or removes depth on its own.

To summarize, Morale is a tool that a designer can choose to use for their game. Some games it is more important than others to model morale. However, it varies based on what the designer is trying to "model" or create with their game.

That being said, there are many ways to do it poorly or clunky.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/03 13:51:30


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Made in de
Been Around the Block




 Easy E wrote:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
Lord Royal wrote:
Sorry, for being the wiseass but the real GD definition of game depth is (in pseudo-algebra):

number of reasonable decisions > core components = game depth


By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions. Hard to sell a bunch of blank cards to folks.


Your example had a single mechanic (cards) and a single dynamic (write cards)... not very deep.


Exactly! Make believe itself is actually a trivially shallow game, because there ONE (1) rule is "make up rules as you go along".

OTOH, game(s) that are subsequently created via make believe will undoubtedly have far greater depth because they have more rules mechanics and are likely to use more components.



The guy designing magic cards says that a games depth is the reasonable decisions vs. core mechanics. I respond that this is a ridiculous and useless formula as by logic extension the game with the most depth will have infinite decisions and no mechanics is a game of make believe. Therefore, it has the most "depth" by definition. It is hard to monetize the game of make believe which by definition has the most depth since there is no need for any materials. Therefore, the Magic designer will have a tough time selling a game with no tools but has the most depth. I hope that makes sense, as I was not proposing a game of make believe using blank cards.


The definition of depth works only within the definitions of a game. There are several definitions for what is a game, but they all have some similarities. ie: winning conditions, some kind of limitation, you have to enter it voluntarily etc.

By that definition the game with the biggest depth would be a classical pure narrative Pen&Paper-RPG. You have a limiting factor (Game Master), hopefully noone is forced to play it, you "win" the game by solving puzzles and quests have very little system components (Player Character's back story, the story world, Game Master) but an infinite ammount of possible actions and outcomes that are limited by the system components.
I don't see this definition as problematic because the mentioned game is pretty deep and emergent. It's even so deep and emergent that the player proparbly will get lost... that's why those games make or brake due to the GMs skills and preparation of the story line.

But enough of the game design head teacher kinda stuff...

To summarize, Morale is a tool that a designer can choose to use for their game. Some games it is more important than others to model morale. However, it varies based on what the designer is trying to "model" or create with their game.


Exactly. It just must not contradict with your method to evoke a certain emotion. If you want your players to feel like they were tactical masterminds, don't have a mechanic that takes away control. If you want them to feel the sheer chaos of battle, add more randomizers. It's the Timmy/Johnny/Spike thing. Keep in mind what your target group and setting is. Ask yourself the question what your potential players might want and how it serves the setting.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/03 16:43:49


 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Easy E wrote:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
 Easy E wrote:
By that definition, the game with the most depth is a game of make believe as there are no rules and infinite decisions.


Make believe itself is actually a trivially shallow game, because there ONE (1) rule is "make up rules as you go along".

OTOH, game(s) that are subsequently created via make believe will undoubtedly have far greater depth because they have more rules mechanics and are likely to use more components.


The guy designing magic cards says that a games depth is the reasonable decisions vs. core mechanics. I respond that this is a ridiculous and useless formula as by logic extension the game with the most depth will have infinite decisions and no mechanics is a game of make believe. Therefore, it has the most "depth" by definition. It is hard to monetize the game of make believe which by definition has the most depth since there is no need for any materials.

Now, onto Morales role in helping to create depth. Of course, Morale requires some more mechanics. However, it also creates choice as the player needs to find ways to mitigate the friction or effects of morale in game. Therefore, if implemented correctly Morale will create more decisions than mechanics. Not having Morale lessens mechanics, but also reduces decisions, which can also lead to more "depth" based on the definition that depth= Decisions > Mechanics. Morale or lack of morale is a system neither creates or removes depth on its own.


That's not right at all. You are suggesting that Drew asking "How much is this car?" on The Price Is Right is infinite, because the contestant could potentially give any response ("ONE BILLION DOLLARS!"). An unlimited number of possibilities for the implementation isn't "infinite decisions". There is only ONE (1) decision in make-believe: "make up a rule". That's why it's shallow. As I explained above, the game that results from following the rules of make-believe can have depth, but make-believe itself is trivially shallow. In your replies, you fail to understand what "depth" is, and you also fail to understand the rules (rule) of make-believe, so you're getting the whole thing wrong. If you want to counterpoint, you need to a better example, because make-believe doesn't do what you think it does. If you disagree, then write down ALL of the rules of your make-believe game, and let us assess how many there are, along with the resulting depth.

As above, I (and others) have asked you to give an example of "best practices" for Morale, and you referred back to the very Warhammer system that I have derided the entire time. Ergo, I am going to take it that you are serious about it being something that "creates depth". I will focus on Warhammer Fantasy Battles (6th Edition) as my reference point, because that's the breakout version of WFB allowing GW to become the dominant miniatures wargame manufacturer across the globe, a closer descendent of the Warhammer family than 40k. With WFB 6E as the reference point, I will tell you that Morale does none of what you claim. Morale & Psychology does not create depth in WFB 6E, but boy howdy does it create mechanics! For example, there are a host of rules to determine what happens (mechanics resolution) when you want to attack a Fear (Terror-causing) creature; however, none of them add new decisions of whether or not you attack in the first place (THE actual decision). Once the attack is committed, at that point, there are a lot of mechanics to resolve the decision, but adding more resolution steps is not at all the same as adding decisions. Similarly, when a unit sustains 25+% casualties and has to take a break test, that isn't another decision. It's simply a punishing host of additional mechanics (leadership test, fleeing, compulsory movement, regroup test, additional test for nearby unit, etc., etc.) that the player is forced to resolve, but none of those are new decisions that the player makes. There are no choices, simply more steps to follow. As above, you conflate and confuse complexity (convoluted, branching, optional mechanics) with depth. Ahh, but you say, there are Leadership tests and such for mitigating the effects, but that's listbuilding, not depth of gameplay, either. Within the game, you simply take the Leadership test, and that's it. If you built a list with higher Leadership, it doesn't change the decision points, because you're still required to take that Leadership test, and follow the script when you fail. OTOH, if a unit is ItP or UB (e.g. Chaos, Undead, Dwarves; 40k Space Marines & Chaos), then it has actually reduced depth by obviating the very Morale feature and consequences that you praise so highly. Given the way that Morale is implemented in your "best practices" example, specifically WFB 6E, your claim about Morale adding depth / decisions is patently untrue. There is ZERO gameplay benefit gained by forcing the player to follow punishing scripts that only reinforce how they are losing, especially when lethality is already high enough to cause 25+% losses, so why add insult to injury? The game would have been better of with simpler Morale, or its wholesale removal from the game.

Removing Morale as such is preferable, which is why KOG light, etc. don't do that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/03 17:33:44


   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Actually, I have never gone back and said Warhammer/40K had it right? You asked if there was a game people wanted to play with morale mechanics.. Warhammer/40K has the most players, and uses the mechanic you hate. Therefore, the mechanics you hate is used by a game that people want to play. Of course, that doesn't prove anything about the mechanic, but you originally asked me the question.

I also agree that spending half a game moving a unit off the board makes no sense, UNLESS there is a way to get them back or do something meaningful with them that forces you to choose if it is worth trying to save them.

Now, two historical games to consider:

Honours of War:
If I recall correctly, a unit can eventually get shaken and fallback from enemy fire. If they fallback a certain distance they are removed from the board. However, if they get far enough away they can also rally again and re-join the fight or a CiC can go over and rally them.

This is important in linear warfare because a gap in the line can create an opportunity to flank or break behind the main battle line. Getting a unit that is falling back to re-organize and back in line matters a lot to the overall outcome of the game, so making a decision about saving them or letting them scatter makes a difference.

Blucher:
Armies lose when they reach a break point. This is based on a percentage of units breaking and routing. This happens when their "elan" is reduce to 0 from firepower, combat, doing too much, etc. When they reach 0 they are simply removed from the board.

However, if a player chooses, they can retire a unit. This means they withdraw but are not counted towards your break points for the army. They are still removed from the board.

Both of these games have morale where at a certain point the unit is reduced to 0 "hits" and simply removed from the board. Clean Morale like you suggest. However, there are also choices to "save" them and the player has to decide if it is worth it.

Now these consideration for withdrawal and fallback/retreat opportunities also make you as a player consider a variety of questions at deployment, when moving the unit, and how you support that unit with other units. That is the depth that morale adds.

Without Morale, you just march forward until they are all dead or the enemy is dead. There is no consideration there.

Best Practices.... maybe?
I guess I would sum them up as:

1. Morale should create more choices on you as the commander

2. Morale can also be used as a tool to force choices on an opponent

If it is not doing those things, it is not helping your game.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/03 21:44:16


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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Dude, let's look at what I actually asked:
 Easy E wrote:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
OK, you say that, so what's your "fix" in a game that someone would actually *want* to buy and play?


Careful what you ask for, since the best-selling game that people seem to want to play is the exact same system you have been deriding as stupid.


I asked "what's your fix", and you said "Warhammer"; then I followed up asking what you considered "best practices", and you didn't answer that, either. I never asked what was popular.

While you keep talking about high level concepts "create choices" / "force choices", I have yet to see how you would implement it. All I know is that the popular game didn't do that at all, and the reality of how people actually play that game clearly demonstrates that they are actively avoiding Morale during listbuilding.

If you're going to be facetious and dodging the questions, that's not helpful.

In your examples, "Morale" wasn't necessary. Giving the player ability to flee or hide would accomplish the same thing directly. The notion of Morale-based consequences didn't add any depth to deployment. It's just another form of addtitional lethality. Per my previous note, having a campaign context, versus a "last stand" with disposable troops changes the value of units, which is why real world battles tended not to be fought until everybody was slain.


Sorry, but I've just not seen where adding Morale has created choices, only where it accelerates the game with a "win more" script. I guess I'm just not getting it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/03 22:48:11


   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

One of the inspirations for Titanomachina was Tactical Assault's Combat Cards. Essentially you bought a deck of cards with each card representing each of a unit, an action, a situation, a degree of attack success, and scatter. Part of the game was figuring out when to use which cards in which ways. Notably when an attack was successfully used against a unit (playing the action and drawing a card off the top of the deck for its degree of success) the recipient of the attack could fall back to reduce its degree of success. It meant that you could chase a unit off the board or out of position since they'd fall back directly away from the attacker.

   
Made in gb
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





Dorset, England

I like HwangDD's point that morale is too indistinct from damage on a unit level. However, I think on an army wide level it can be distinct, as a completely fresh unit can be affected by morale if they just saw their mates mulched or it is obvious that the battle is lost.

This would suggest a global morale score, but I hate the bottle test mechanic. The fact that because you kill a few peasant levies the army's professional soldiers run for it... that doesn't ring true for me.

Taking this into account, how about something like this;
- Both armies have a global morale score of 1 - 20. This is modified as armies take casualties etc.
- All units are classified as 'zealous', 'committed' or 'reluctant'.
- At the start of each turn you roll a D20, if you exceed your morale score by 5 you can only activate zealous units, if you get equal and under you can activate committed and zealous units with 5 or more under you can activate all units.

You could play around with the details like the numbers, whether an unactivated unit can do something, ways to guarantee activation with a character, casualties dropping units down classification levels etc.
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

Having morale affect behaviour rather than just being another damage effect does seem better until you start restricting when a player can use their material.

I like how Kroem described Dynasty Tactics II as affecting the order in which units are activated. That way you can still address the morale of opposing units without completely taking them out of action or completely shutting down an opponent's control.

   
Made in gb
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





Dorset, England

Its a fair point that players don't like losing control, but I've read that in ancient battles often the less committed troops did stand around doing nothing. The main drivers of the battle were the small amount of committed warriors, like at Leuctra or Gaugamela for example.

As I mention, you could allow units that can't be activated to make a move (or half move) so that even though they can't be convinced to charge into combat they are willing to cover the flanks and look threatening!
In addition, you would rig the activation numbers such that the less reliable troops would get activated more often than not in the first few turns, but get skittish as the casualties mount up.

The trouble with the Dynasty Tactics model of course is that the computer can easily keep track of each unit's unique morale number and reorder the activation order list as these change. A player would find this book keeping rather tedious!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/07 14:39:17


 
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

If you're really gung-ho about simulating an historical battle then you're probably not hung up on stuff standing around doing nothing except trying to look inconspicuous - it's the reasoning I like for Rick Priestly's Warmaster, or Arty Conliffe's Crossfire, that you don't need a linear timescale of stuff standing around doing nothing when you can just ignore them for game purposes.

In terms of re-ordering the activation list I can imagine it getting pretty arduous, even if you put a D20 beside each unit as you would have to go through all of your units each time you wanted to activate them. I did that for Titanomachina, but each player has only one unit, and letting players muck around with the order of activation is what drives the action in the game.

   
Made in gb
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





Dorset, England

I always thought the fact that units could move lots of times in Warmaster was weird, I didn't know it was meant to represent that!

I think the conclusion I'm coming to though, is that morale is much more interesting when affecting other systems, like damage or command and control, rather than being a system in its own right.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

A couple of comments:

Deferred activation is easily handled via card activation. Each unit gets a card; shuffle the cards, and activate the unit when its card comes up. If a morale-impacted unit comes up, you have choices:
* clear the pin and degraded activation
* clear the pin and place on the bottom / reshuffle back into the deck
* etc.
You can add jokers & semi-wild cards, etc. based on the nature of card-driven command.


With respect to scale / historical modeling, if you aren't folding morale into damage, then you need to revisit what damage means. It may mean that kill rates drop down to historically minimal levels, and combat becomes more about adding break / pin counters than killing stuff. I doubt it works for skirmish games (assumed scale, for me), but I can definitely see it working at brigade and larger scale games.


A good game can be developed around these concepts, but I think the game has to be designed around them from the ground up, as its a radical change to both activation and combat resolution.

   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

It occurred to me that in Warhammer it might be an idea to have casualties calculated after morale. So you'd do all the usual rolling to hit, wound, save, second-save, etc. But instead of subtracting wounds and removing casualties you'd simply keep track of the damage inflicted. Then do the morale check based on that damage rather than casualties and lose that many casualties. Stuff that lets you auto-pass would need some sort of fix, but it includes stuff like vehicles and so on.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/07 20:03:15


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

If you are building a Command & Control-oriented game, then Morale needn't be tied to casualties. If a unit comes under fire, it should test. If a unit is charged, it should test.

Again, this is a very different sort of game than 40k, where the real game is about maintaining cohesion and discipline rather than killing stuff.

   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

Certainly. I was just throwing out a way of making morale interesting in a friction-y, grindy game like 40k.

   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Sadly, I do not have a list of best practices beyond the few basic ideas I have laid out. That will not be satisfying to many here.

Ultimately, it is up to the designer how much of a role Morale will play. Some games do not require it, while others may revolve around it.

I like the idea of the shifting "State" that changes initiative order. It could also limit action choices and open up new actions not previously available in a small skirmish game.

Just some thoughts.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






I considered having morale affect the action count a unit has, but have quite high values for them.

EG have 20AP, and have actions cost amounts like 5AP, 7AP, 3 AP etc. lesser actions like crawling or shouting would be 1AP. Morale then costs you AP, and is damaged like HP. so if you have 4 morale damage, you only have 16AP to use. so if you want t oget the most of your turn, you use more feeble, desperate and oppressed actions, EG crawling instead of running, potshots instead of sniping. you could have a simple table for each unit, AP costs to crawl, walk, run and charge. AP costs for each way of firing the weapon, and with each profile for doing so.

basically, reduce the efficiency of the unit as it takes morale damage. Give them a morale stat which is a degree of immunity (EG morale 4 can have 4 morale damage before anything affects them, or can remove 4 morale damage per turn, whichever works better).

I would also say that no unit can be reduced below 1AP, so they can always do one little thing. Further morale damage is ignored, so no-one becomes unrecoverable.

I would think this to be less oppressive than dictating activation order, as people have said, having this dictated to you isn't that much fun.

4th Edition Orks in 7th, W/D/L 5/0/0 
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

I think it's more useful to slap the label "morale" on a part of the game that's fun than trying to simulate morale as a design goal.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

 Nurglitch wrote:
I think it's more useful to slap the label "morale" on a part of the game that's fun than trying to simulate morale as a design goal.


OK, how do you propose that in something like Warhammer 40k? The core 40k game loops is move-shoot-fight, and movement is pretty boring, so you'd slap a "morale" label on the shoot and/or fight? How?

   
Made in gb
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





Dorset, England

I think that would just be making morale a parallel damage system like we dicussed before, why not just have the normal damage reduce AP if you want that kind of system?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 JohnHwangDD wrote:
 Nurglitch wrote:
I think it's more useful to slap the label "morale" on a part of the game that's fun than trying to simulate morale as a design goal.


OK, how do you propose that in something like Warhammer 40k? The core 40k game loops is move-shoot-fight, and movement is pretty boring, so you'd slap a "morale" label on the shoot and/or fight? How?

I think the bit in Warhammer where you compare the combat resolution to determine who 'won' that particular combat round is quite a cool morale mechanic, I like the way it makes banners, musicians and ranks important too. The bad thing about that system is what you do when you establish who is the loser, i.e. take an all of nothing check to see if the whole unit runs or not.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/15 20:22:34


 
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

That bit in 8th edition where both sides take morale checks where they've suffered casualties is a good start.

An idea I had was that in 40k morale was the amount of casualties taken, so you do the usual move, shoot, charge, fight, morale, but don't remove casualties until the morale phase. Then you roll 1D6 and add wounds lost, minus leadership, to see how many wounds the unit takes. Then remove casualties.

That way morale applies to big monsters too. Stuff like Insane Bravery and Synapse would need rejigging.

With a blank slate to make a Warhammer-clone I'd personally like something like a combination of the Starship Troopers Flinch and Epic Armageddon Blast Markers. Essentially when a model is going to be removed as a casualty, it can 'flinch' and take a blast marker instead. This blast marker prevents it from moving and shooting during the unit's next action/activation/whatever. There would be an action to shed blast markers. Some units would require more than one blast marker, etc.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/16 13:34:31


   
 
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