Last night at the shop we play tested Attack and Defend as well as King of the Hill (mission I haven’t released yet). The games were fun and I got some good feedback and learned a few things.
With Attack and Defend, as well as King of the Hill, you score points each turn and the points you score increases with each turn. The problem I found is it’s hard to accurately score the type of win. The scoring format for Attack and Defend is this:
Turn #1: 1pt
Turn #2: 2pts
Turn #3: 3pts
Turn #4: 4pts
Turn #5: 5pts
Turn #6: 6pts
Turn #7: 7pts
Massacre – 12 points or more than your opponent
Major – 8 points or more than your opponent
Minor – 4 points or more than your opponent
Draw – Any other condition
You gain those points at the end of each player turn by: having no scoring units in your deployment zone, having a scoring unit in the enemy deployment zone. So, if on turn #2 I have no scoring units in my deployment I get 2pts. If I have a scoring unit in the enemy deployment I get another 2pts for a total of 4pts.
Here’s the problem. Right now a massacre is based on scoring 12+ points more than the opponent. The match could be a dead tie until turn #6 and then one player scores 12pts on that turn to get a massacre. Alternatively, it could be a tie until turn #5 and one player scores 10pts for a major win, or even 8pts on turn #4 to also get a major. One turn having the potential to score you a massacre, or even a major, just doesn’t seem right. I like the scaling values based on turns but that’s something I had not considered.
The other problem I see is that in a tournament you have a time limit. It is possible that you only get three or four turns in. So, it could be damn near impossible to score a massacre or a major in a game that doesn’t run at least five turns, which happens a fair amount.
The idea I came up with is to keep the scaling turn values but instead of using a flat point difference for victory conditions, instead use a multiplier. Using a multiplier would give you an equal chance no matter what turn the game ended on to reach any victory condition. It still rewards the army who plays a good late game but keeps it a bit more balanced. My initial idea is this:
Massacre – 2.5 times more points than your opponent
Major – 2 times more points than your opponent
Minor – 1.5 times more points than your opponent
Draw – Any other condition
Using my previous example, we have a tie on points until turn #6 and one player scores for both conditions and the game ends. Now the game is Player1 at 15pts and Player2 is at 27pts. Now Player2 wins with a minor instead of a massacre, which seems right to me. If instead it was a tie until turn #4 and Player2 scored full points on turn #5 and #6 it would be Player1 at 10pts and Player2 at 32pts to give that person a major. That again seems right to me. Getting a massacre would mean gaining full points for about three turns, roughly, which sounds more like a massacre to me than one good turn.