11 May, 2013

Adding Dice to Town Guard

I’m in a real dilemma about adding dice to the town guard game. They make a cheaper option, but dramatically change the nature of the game.

With this in mind, I’m looking to create a mechanism that alters the game as little as possible, but could be used as a touchstone for flavoured expansion sets in the future.

Option 1 - 1 Die

The simplest option would allow a player to add the roll of a die to their attribute total when confronting a mission. Increasing the difficulty of all missions by 3 would offset this.

Basic Missions (currently target number 3, but upgraded to 6):
            Low attribute (1): 33% chance of success (needs a 5 or better)
Medium attribute (3): 66% chance of success (needs a 3 or better)
High attribute (5): Automatic success
Legendary attribute (7): Automatic success
Advanced Missions (currently target number 6, but upgraded to 9):
Low attribute (1): No chance of success
Medium attribute (3): 16% chance of success (needs a 6)
High attribute (5): 50% chance of success (needs a 4 or better)
Legendary attribute (7): 83% chance of success (needs a 2 or better)
This would still be modified by the play of some cards and the improvement of attributes over the course of play. The problem I see here though is the fact that once an attribute gets higher than 5, a character basically gets an automatic set of victory benefits if they happen to randomly draw a mission card. Once a character gets a few attributes at 5, and if they happen to advance an attribute to 8 or higher, they have no real challenge. The other players have to stack cards against such a character to prevent them from simply winning the game. Eventually it will be hard to keep stacking cards against that one character who gains a competitive edge. A bit like monopoly, and the very thing I’m trying to avoid in this game.   

Option 2 – 2 Dice

A more complex option would be to add two dice. One die added to the player’s guard, and another die added to the target number.  In the worst scenario (player adds a 1, target number adds a 6) this effectively increases the target number by 5. In the best scenario (players adds a 6, target number adds a 1) this effectively reduces the target number by 5. More often, the target number and guard’s attribute will increase by comparable values (one or two variance either side).

Basic Missions (target number 3):
                Low attribute (1): 28% chance of success (10 in 36, needs to beat the target die by 2)
Medium attribute (3): 55% chance of success (21 in 36, needs to equal the target die)
High attribute (5): 83% chance of success (30 in 36, target die may not beat the guard by more than 2)
Legendary attribute (7): 94% chance of success (35 in 36, target die may not beat the guard by more than 4)
Advanced Missions (target number 6):
Low attribute (1): 3% chance of success (1 in 36, needs to beat the target die by 5…only possible if guard rolls a 6 and target die rolls a 1)
Medium attribute (3): 16% chance of success (6 in 36, needs to beat the target die by 3)
High attribute (5): 41% chance of success (15 in 36, needs to beat the target die by 1)
Legendary attribute (7): 72% chance of success (26 in 36, target die may not beat the guard by more than 1)

Just like before, this would still be modified by the play of some cards and the improvement of attributes. There is still the chance of a 100% completion rate if the guard’s attribute is more than five points higher than the target number, but that means an attribute of 8 of higher for basic missions, and an attribute of 11 or higher for advanced missions.
   
Rolling two dice and adding them to the respective totals adds a little more time to the resolution process, but allows a few options to play with mechanically. For example, there are a few cards that currently indicate the flip of a coin; these could now utilize the dice in the box.



If dice are added, expansion sets might include reward cards that activate effects when certain numbers or doubles are rolled or mischief cards that produce quirky effects when certain numbers are rolled on the resolution (this occurs on an even roll, that occurs on a 4 or higher, etc…). I don’t know how much more this will complicate things…something to think about more if the initial game works and expansions become a viable option. 
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